CPS hearing about possible school closures turns rowdy

January 28, 2013 9:00:29 PM PST
The ongoing fight over the future of Chicago Public Schools heated up Monday evening.

A public hearing at Truman College to gather input on the district's plan to close certain schools got rowdy.

Over 200 people crammed into the gym at Truman College chanting in support of keeping their schools open.

These "community input" sessions are designed for members of the community to actively participate in the decision of school closures.

CPS parent Mia Norris said she is concerned because a school closure would be very hard on her children.

"This is the only school that my kids know," she said.

The meetings are for parents and other community members to voice their opinions, according to CPS.

"These ongoing community conversations will better guide us as we make difficult, but necessary choices around this work over the coming weeks and months," CPS said in a statement.

But CPS officials couldn't even get through their planned presentation because parents and residents didn't want to hear it.

People kept interrupting them with various chants such as "save our schools".

"It was a disaster tonight," Chicago Teachers Union Vice President Jesse Sharkey said.

At one point a principal, who attended with dozens of elementary school students, pulled the children out of the meeting.

"We thank the hundreds of community members that came out tonight to engage CPS around our District's utilization crisis, which is stretching our limited resources much too thin and depriving schools of the supports they need to provide all children with the well-rounded education they deserve," CPS officials said in a statement.