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Chicago Ministers Call For Moratorium On School Closings

dellimore250 Craig Dellimore
Craig Dellimore, political editor for WBBM, joined the station in 1983...
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CHICAGO (CBS) — Even before the downtown rally was to begin, a small group made up of South and West side ministers went up to Mayor Emanuel’s City Hall office to make a plea about the school closings plan, reports WBBM Political Editor Craig Dellimore.

More than a dozen ministers from the South and West sides delivered a letter to Mayor Emanuel’s office calling for a year-long moratorium on school closings.

Reverend Gregory Livingston from the Roseland Community is among those who say the last thing struggling communities facing fragile economies and daily violence need are shuttered school buildings.

“These school closings seem to be very convenient for the administration, bit incredibly inconvenient and dangerous for the families. What we have here is what I call educational adventurism, is that all kinds of things are being tried on the poor and disadvantaged because they can’t fight back,” said Rev. Livingston.

West side Pastor, Rev. Marshall Hatch, was among those delivering a letter to Mayor Emanuel’s office saying the plan to close more than 50 public schools should be delayed because of its impact on African-American neighborhoods. One fear is the young children may become inadvertent targets of gang violence.

But Mayor Emanuel says it would be unconscionable to allow schools in struggling communities to continue to fail their students and NOT do something about them. The closing plan will go forward.