On a day that is usually pegged as the best day of the year, the last day of school and the official start of their summer, people inside and outside of dozens of CPS schools were filled with emotions and flooding with tears today.
They are saying goodbyes to their schools and their teachers for the last time.
The Ramos family staged a 3 hour sit-in inside Lafayette school protesting its closure. Police allegedly threatened one family with arrests.
“We hoped to accomplish to embarrass the mayor,” said Rousemary Vega, a parent at the school. “He’s affecting families to the point that we are desperate enough to do whatever it takes.”
Desperate because Lafayette school closed today along with 27 other Chicago public schools rang their school bells for the last time. It was all part of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s grand plan to close and consolidate to improve Chicago Public Schools overall, the CEO contends.
In a statement today, Barbara Byrd-Bennett said, “As we end this school year, it is time for us as a city to begin the work of creating a deep and lasting change in our schools to ensure a better life for our children, a better Chicago workforce and a better future for our city.”
Others were equally as distraught over the closing of their school today.
With tears streaming down her face, 6th grader Fiona Grahn said, “I don’t want this school to close. I’ve been here since 1st grade.”
Rosemary Maurello, was a teacher at Lafayette for 19 years. “It’s hard not to cry,” she said. “You get letters from kids who say, ‘We’ll miss you.’ They ask, ‘Do you get to go too?’ I can’t even answer that question. You don’t even know if you will see them.”
Protestors claim they will keep fighting. They are not giving up hope yet that some closed schools could remain open in the end.