After refusing reporters access, Far South Side school board lets the press in

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OLYMPIA FIELDS, Ill. — Security guards escorted reporters away from a public meeting on the Far South Side Tuesday, as school officials and residents debate the future of a public high school.

“It’s one more example of the lack of transparency,” resident Holly Fingerle said.

Locals said they wanted reporters present at the meeting of the Rich Township High School District 227 at Rich Central High School in Olympia Fields because of a lack of trust in the local school board.

Reporters on the scene were escorted to a packed meeting room, then immediately thrown out by security and police. The Open Meetings Act requires members of the public and the press be allowed into meetings determining public business.

The board is debating whether to close Rich East High School and bus students to Lincoln Way North.

“We need everyone out there to know what they’re trying to do to our communities,” resident Randall White said. “Our communities have been red-lined and they’re trying to finish us off with our schools. We need the media in there.”

Reporters were eventually let back into the meeting.

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