Chicago public school students held a march and rally at CPS headquarters today to protest planned school closings.
About three dozen students used the first day of their spring break to march and make their feelings known. The students later left school headquarters and marched to City Hall where they plan to stage another protest. They are hopeful that Mayor Rahm Emanuel will hear their grievances.
The students say they are afraid that their younger brothers and sisters will be in danger going to and from school. They fear that street gang violence will be a real and constant problem.
They also say that overcrowding in the combined new schools will stifle education and hurt the educational process in general. But more than anything else, they say the issue of youngsters having to cross rival gang lines is their greatest fear.
Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett says she understands that this is a very emotional time for many of the students and their families. But she says CPS officials feel secure that they can still provide a quality education for all the students involved.