Richard A. Fowler
WASHINGTON—Statement by American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten on the Dyett High School Hunger Strike, which is now in its 17th day:
"These 12 hunger strikers are pursuing justice—not for themselves, but for our children. And they’re not simply saying to the mayor or the school board: ‘Do something.’ This is a community that’s saying, ‘We want to take responsibility. We have a plan.’
"The community’s plan is instructionally on target, and it reflects the passion of parents and teachers and neighbors who want what’s best for their kids. Anyone who wants schools to be places where parents want to send their kids, where educators want to work and where kids are engaged would embrace this plan right now. So, why isn’t Mayor Rahm Emanuel doing just that? Why not listen to the parents, educators and community of Bronzeville who all have worked for years toward making Dyett a great neighborhood public school?
"There are more Dyetts across our country. In communities where neighborhood public schools were closed, not fixed. In communities destabilized by bad policy. But they are fighting back—in Chicago, in Newark, N.J., in Philadelphia, in Pittsburgh. Across the country, communities are determined to do whatever it takes to have great neighborhood public schools. And just as with Dyett, we want to make it crystal clear that the American Federation of Teachers has your back."