11 Dyett High School protesters arrested at City Hall

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Dyett High School supporters staged a sit-in at City Hall to protest the Chicago school's closure, right in front of Mayor Rahm Emanuel's office.

City of Chicago Spokesperson Kelley Quinn confirmed in a statement Wednesday that 11 people were taken into custody around 11:45 p.m. Tuesday and charged with criminal trespassing on city property - a misdemeanor.

At around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, a group of protesters hooked themselves together in a circle around the George Washington Statue singing and chanting "We Shall Overcome."

PHOTOS: Dyett High School supporters stage sit-in at City Hall


"City officials met with the group several times regarding their list of demands - and in fact, agreed to the majority of them," Quinn said in a statement. "City officials continued to make additional concessions, but the group communicated to staff and police officers that regardless of any concessions, they wanted to be arrested. Police told the group repeatedly that they should leave the building."

When the group did not leave after the building closed at 6 p.m., officers took 11 people into custody. Police said they were all released from the District 1 police station.

Irene Robinson, one of the 11 arrested overnight, said the ball is in Emanuel's court.

"CPS has not been held accountable for the sabotage of Dyett and if it closes, we won't have a neighborhood high school in this area. We are prepared to go to jail in larger number again, to get justice for our children," Robinson said. "The Mayor's staff made concessions last night that should never have been an issue. We appreciate this first step, but we have been ignored, disrespected and our children have been underserved for the last three years."

Chicago Public Schools has been slowly phasing out the high school, one grade at a time. This year will likely be Dyett's last year.

Only 13 seniors currently attend the CPS school, which is in the 500-block of East 51st Street in the city's Bronzeville neighborhood.

The Coalition to Revitalize Dyett High School wants Emanuel, the Chicago school board and CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett to sign an agreement indicating their "full support" for the school.

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