CHICAGO — Students at Marist High School on Chicago’s Far South Side got the day off today.
The decision to cancel classes was made late yesterday afternoon because of the group Black Lives Matter Youth protest that was planned for this afternoon.
The school’s principal Larry Tucker tells WGN-TV the move was made after conferring with the Chicago police department and local 19th Ward Alderman Matt O’Shea.
School officials, Alderman O’Shea, police superintendent Eddie Johnson and members of Black Lives Matter will be getting together to converse about the situation and foster a better understanding all around.
The Mt. Greenwood neighborhood has been the sight of several protests this week in response to a fatal police-involved shooting that happened last weekend. 25-year-old Joshua Beal of Indianapolis was killed. Police say Beal was armed when he was shot Saturday in what police said was a road rage incident following a funeral.
Black Lives Matter movement is calling for an investigation.
Tensions boiled over when protests then by Black Live Matters members and counter protests by neighborhood residents and police Blue Lives Matters group followed.
The ordeal took another turn when some Marist students posted racially charged tweets in response the shooting.
Early in the week, Archbishop Cupich and activist priest Father Michael Pfleger both reacted by condemning the tweets.
By Wednesday, as many as five Marist students had been expelled.
Thursday night online, nearly 5,000 people are supporting an online petition to have the expulsion decision repealed.
Principal Tucker says he simply cannot talk about disciplinary matters but he considers this to be a teaching moment.