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Protests Against School Closings Continue

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CHICAGO (CBS) – Parents and other community members met outside a West Side school Friday morning, in an effort to make sure Chicago Public Schools officials and the mayor hear what they have to say about the closing of 49 elementary schools.

WBBM Newsradio’s Dave Berner reports more than a dozen people came out for the protest rally outside Edward Delano Elementary School, which is on the closing list.

They said the plan to close 49 elementary schools and one high school program at the end of the school year is an attack on the poor.

“Has it ever happened in the mayor’s neighborhood? Is it happening in the affluent northern neighborhoods in Chicago?” activist Wendy Pearson asked.

Joy Harrison’s son attends Hanson Park Elementary School, which is not on the closing list, but she said she’s worried about young children crossing gang lines when they’re moved from schools that are closed to new ones in other neighborhoods.

“I’m very angry. It’s not going to work. I am willing to boycott, and sit my child out, and homeschool at home until this is changed,” she said.

Like many protesters this week, parents at the rally on Friday said the fight against school closings isn’t over, even after the Board of Education had its final vote on Wednesday.

“There is more power in us than it is in their money,” Pearson said.

The Chicago Teachers Union has filed federal lawsuits seeking to block the closings. Opponents of school closings also have been lobbying state lawmakers to impose a moratorium on school closings.

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