Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Tribune Discovers Dyett Hunger Strike

It only took eight days for Chicago's leading "news" outlet to discover that Dyett High twelve community members were staging a hunger strike. But yesterday afternoon, the Chicago Tribune finally covered the story.

Mind you, they didn't cover it all that well. They reported the 13-student enrollment class without any context, as if it were the result of "plunging enrollment" and not a phased closure (with CPS encouraging students to get out of Dodge).

They reported the two other proposals uncritically. They didn't explain Little Black Pearl's non-past operating schools, and I am becoming really curious about who is behind the athletic school proposal which is always only linked to Charles Campbell, the Dyett interim principal. They did not mention that CPS entertains his proposal even though it was late.

The Trib reported the community proposal, but put "leadership and green technology school" in quotation marks as if this were some sort of crazy idea that community members just pulled out of thin air, as if it were like a school for chinchilla ranchers or underwater basket weavers. And Trib-- you left off "global."

And the Tribune made sure to note that the group on hunger strike has always been tied to the Chicago teachers' union (you know-- Those People).

Still, they did report on many of the group's major concerns-- and they acknowledged that the hunger strike is going on.

Now-- here's what you need to do.

1) Click on over to the article. Remember, every click on an article is a vote saying "I want to read more coverage of this."

2) Comment. I'm not sure if any comments are actually getting through, but make sure the comment section includes the rest of the story.

An action like a hunger strike is only as effective as the public reaction to it, and that depends on the public hearing about it, so the Tribune's end of their news blackout of the event means that progress is being made. Keep the pressure on. Spread the word. And remind the Tribune that the worlds needs to know about what's going on.


  1. I can't read it - it's Paywalled! :-(

  2. There's a "register for free" option at the bottom of the pop-up.

  3. Grandmother Irene Robinson was hospitalized today.

  4. Thanks for staying on top of this, Peter. Clicked, read, commented.

  5. I saw no place to comment so I sent the authors an email:

    I sent an email to the Tribune authors since I did not see a comment section at the bottom (perhaps cut them off????) and this is what I said:

    Why wasn't this part of your story?

    And why was the name of the school in quotes as if it was not a real validated idea? And why didn't you tell the story of how the school came to have only 13 graduating seniors before it was closed? Why is nobody telling the truth about what is happening to minority schools across the country? Reporters appear to be either too lazy to dig for the truth or too bought out by corporate money to tell the truth.

    A democratic society deserves the whole story!

    1. Great questions and good to email the authors.

      The comments section is the right for some reason, instead of below.

  6. Here's the latest:
    - - - - - - - -

    Dyett Hunger Strikers Gain Support;
    Striker Collapses at CPS Board Meeting

    In the 10th day of their hunger strike, a group of parents and activists rallying to save a Chicago high school were joined by national education leaders, a handful of elected officials and dozens of organizers who wanted to lend their support.

    But as Jitu Brown, Irene Robinson, Anna Jones and about six others who have stopped eating to draw attention to their cause gathered in front of Dyett High School, another one of the hunger strikers collapsed after testifying before the Chicago Board of Education.

    Paramedics had to treat Jeanette Taylor-Ramann, the second striker to need medical care after giving up solid foods.

    "These hunger strikers are doing something sacred for their schools and their community," said Dan Montgomery, the president of the Illinois Federation of Teachers, which represents more than 100,000 teachers and school support staff.

    The 12 activists from the Coalition to Revitalize Dyett High School are refusing to eat to force the CPS board to decide the fate of the Washington Park school, which was once slated for closure.

    The district has accepted proposals from three community organizations to run the school. Charter schools were not considered.

    But while CPS leaders have said they are committed to a "community driven process" to eventually determine the fate of the school, the Bronzeville activists say there have been constant delays that they think will eventually lead to the school being permanently closed.

    At the board meeting, newly installed President Frank Clark said the protesters are justified to push for answers.

    "The issue around Dyett, I do agree, has gone on for a very long period of time," he said. "We do need to reach a conclusion. It may or not be the conclusion that everyone wants, but a conclusion is necessary as soon as we can do that."

    On Wednesday, the strikers sat in their chairs in front of the school as they have since Aug. 17. Some said they were struggling with fatigue and dizzy spells. The coalition wants to see Dyett transformed into a science-focused school.

    Although the activists have been battling to save Dyett for six years, their hunger strike comes at a particularly crucial time in the Washington Park community. Although plagued by violence, poverty and a scarcity of grocery stores and retailers, the neighborhood is also undergoing a modest rejuvenation. A new shopping center with a major grocer opened this year. And there has been an influx of new condos and multi-unit developments. The neighborhood is being considered for the Obama Presidential Library.

    Yet long-term residents complain that they don't have a quality, open-enrollment school where they can send their children.

    "I will stand here and I will fight … until the last breath I have," Robinson said outside the school Wednesday. Robinson, a grandmother who had nine children attend Dyett, had been hospitalized Monday.

    Kenneth Brown, 18, was one of 13 students in the last graduating class from Dyett. Because there were no underclassmen, and few classes offered, his experience was limited. So, on Wednesday, Brown stood with the protesters.

    "For CPS to throw our school away is just wrong," he said. "It feels like they are trying to erase us from our community. I hope what happened to my school never happens to anyone else."
    - - - - - - - -

    Check out the comments from the racist d-bags:
    - - - - - - - -
    g0000012" Rank 246

    Mmmm... That's good lookin chicken!
    - - - - - - - -
    Hanginlow Rank 48

    didnt look like they missed any meals.
    - - - - - - - -
    curmudgeon2 Rank 655

    So they'll hold their breath until they get their way. Very childish. Is this the way public policy should be made?
    - - - - - - - -
    mbenny Rank 141

    Fried chicken sounds good tonight.

  7. I hate to say this, but the movement to stop school privatization may need a Bobby Sands to die and bring attention to their cause: