Principal Made Dumpster Diver

Did Brizard do right in making the principal at Northwest retrieve the dumped supplies, or did he go too far? Does anyone know whether the principal complied, or filed suit, or whether the Area Officer or LSC cares?

Brizard Reacts to Dumped School Supplies Fox: he head of Chicago’s public schools said he was angered after watching FOX Chicago’s report Thursday night on unused school supplies being tossed in the trash.

Ill. principal told to pull supplies from trash Tribune: CPS officials say they plan to pick up the supplies from Northwest Middle School and distribute items that can still be used.

CPS Principal Ordered to Dumpster Dive NBC Chicago:  A Chicago Public Schools principal who allegedly tossed unused school supplies in the trash was ordered to dumpster dive to retrieve the items in light of a $612 million district deficit.





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  • Brizard did the right thing. There are district mechanisms in place to handle unused resources. And at the very least the principal could have made a posting on the CPS-wide employee communication area. That discussion board reaches potentially 30,000 employees and at worst teachers from hundreds and hundreds of schools. Teachers offer free stuff there all the time. And there is always someone who can put it to good use.

  • Yes, Brizard did the right thing. (He also did the right thin with TeacherFit, by the way.) This northwest side principal has no excuse.

    There are mechanisms in place to return unused goods to CPS. There are also many opportunities to donate goods to other schools. All year long many schools offer goods for free through the district-wide communication system. And all year long schools clamor and compete to receive those free goods.

  • What mechanisms?

    I used to browse and benefit from CPS "Free Things," but it wasn't available last school year.

    (It was great by the way, Cynthia Greenleaf, Ian Thomson and others did a tremendous job routing things from one school to another.)

  • Schools don’t get supplies from CPS, so there is no return of unused goods to CPS. Each school buys their own supplies from their supply fund bucket.
    She should have put a message on the First Class boards and would have seen the takers stand in line for those items.

  • Schools can donate supplies just like outsiders to and they will be distributed to schools that ask for them. Contact them if your school needs something.

  • Brizard should have walked the hallways in June to see what the kids throw away or leave in their lockers.

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    I'm not sure why people are shocked that perfectly good school supplies were thrown out. At the end of every school year, hundreds, if not thousands, of books that are considered "outdated" or inconsistent with a school's curriculum, are thrown out at schools all across Chicago.
    Sometimes, materials are discarded under a principal's direction because they want rooms emptied to present the appearance of a clean building.I'm not sure how embarrassing the principal at Northwest Middle serves any sort of purpose.Fox didn't discover anything new;this has been going on for years.

  • I don't agree with what this person did. But I have to say that asking schools to hang on to "outdated" books just because we think schools should never get rid of books is going a little far. Certainly they should take steps to try and get those books to a school that would use them, but if no one wants them they go in the trash. Seriously, do we want children learning from social studies texts that were published in 1978?

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    But that's not what happened here. These were unopened boxes of supplies. Unlike Mr. Johnson, I find this inexcusable. Certainly it hurts efforts to get people to donate money for school supplies when this news becomes public (and I'm sure that's what motivated Brizard to act).

  • In reply to Danaidh:

    Yes I agree. However Mr. Johnson implies, or it would seem, that throwing out "outdated" materials is wrong. Which it isn't. In fact, more schools need to throw out their outdated materials. Of course, it would help if they could stop buying poor curriculum sets in the first place. Then we could stop that problem at the source. As for the office supplies that's just pure waste. But again, who ordered these things in the first place? Someone at that school ordered the supplies with their money. Fix the problem at its source. Another canary in the coal mine for CPS.

  • Here's an amusing story about the use of out-dated textbooks. When one of my kids was in 2nd grade (at a SEES), they were using what I thought were perfectly fine hardbound spelling/vocab textbooks. But one day she had an assignment where she was supposed to pick the word based on clues. Well, the clue was "2001" and the word she was supposed to pick was "future" LOL! I looked at the publication date and it was from the early 1990s.

    While my anecdote is kind of funny and really didn't cause a major problem for my child, I can see where an out-of-date book could really be problematic. Particularly in the fields of science and social studies.

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