As we enter Day 4 of the Chicago teachers strike, more and more children are taking to the streets. They're not wearing red t-shirts, or carrying picket signs, but they minus well have bulls eyes on their backs. Since the teacher's strike began on Monday, assaults and shootings are increasing with every passing day in the Englewood community.
"Since these kids have not been in school, the shootings are getting worse. They have jump on the CTA buses and they start beating people for no reason. On Monday, a 15-year-old boy was killed on the corner of 69th near Halsted in the middle of the day when these kids would have been in school", says Tikesha Collier a resident of the community. With much of the local media coverage being directed at the teacher's strike and the uprising that is now occurring in Libya, nothing is mentioned about the spike in criminal activity in this community.
As I am looking across the street from where I am standing - I see young and mature eyes watching my every movement. I felt as though those eyes are reading my lips. They're faces seemed flustered but inquisitive wondering what questions could I be asking.
Then I asked myself.
What is wrong with this picture?
The answer is simple - instead of the young eyes watching me, they should be staring at their teacher either explaining to them how to multiply and divide, or differences between a noun and a verb.
The mature eyes should be performing a task for an employer to provide a good living for those young eyes.
So how did we get to this point?
People that I have spoken with believe that both sides are right and wrong but while the two sides are posturing to see who can claim victory - each day passes with more children being exposed to the real threat of life and death.
Let's take a look at the heroes and the villains in this caper:
First we will start with the teacher's, and for this trip down memory lane I am calling them the legion of doom. Wearing their red t-shirts and big white poster boards covering their bodies - as they circle around their respective schools each morning - like a hawk about to devour it's prey - who only want more pay (this is what the school board wants us to believe).
Now comes the Chicago board of education, who look like the Justice League of America - as they stand in front of the television cameras on almost every news telecast claiming to be fighting for truth, justice, and their way.
So let's see, I guess Mayor Rahm Emanuel is Superman?
Chicago public school CEO Jean-Claude Brizard is Batman?
I don't know if he is Batman but with the name of Jean-Claude - he can probably throw some mean flying kicks in the air.
I hope Chicago teacher's union president Karen Lewis knows how to dodge, dip, duck, and dodge.
Who is Wonder Woman?
I don't think I am going to touch that one.
I don't know much about this entire process - but what I do know is that the longer these two sides continue attacking and demonizing each other - the weapons that I worry about are the one's that these children are using to kill other children - at the times when they should be sitting up under a desk with text books open getting an education.
As each day passes the conditions are worsening in the Englewood community. It's time for the real superheroes to stand up and end this battle.
Before the real arch criminals win and those inquisitive young eyes will be closed forever.
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