A group of students and parents at Chicago’s Walter H. Dyett High School has begun a three-day protest over the future of the South Side school.
The group began setting up a tent city outside the office of Ald. Will Burns (4th Ward) early Wednesday morning, but were stopped by police.
The tents were taken down and replaced with signs and chairs.
The protesters plan to sit in front of Ald. Burns’ office at 435 East 35th Street for the next three days to try to convince him to have a public hearing on a proposal they have come up with to revitalize Dyett High School.
Ald. Burns agrees that a public hearing is needed on this issue, but he does not agree with their proposal for Dyett.
The proposal by community activists calls for reopening the school with a focus on green technology and global leadership.
Ald. Burns says he agrees with 90 percent of what the protesters want, but he feels the organizers did not gather enough input from the broader community.
Dyett sits in Burns’ ward and is scheduled to be closed after the 2014-2015 school year.
The protesters say Burns has done nothing to help save the school and accuse him of ignoring the needs of neighborhood children.
The Chicago Board of Education voted to phase out Dyett back in 2012 due to poor academic performance — a decision that Ald. Burns says he opposed. That would leave the Bronzeville community with no open-enrollment neighborhood school.