Former and current CPS students speak on why they are against school closings

Worry. Anger. Uncertainty. Those were some of the feelings that current and former Chicago Public Schools students and parents expressed about the district’s plans to close more than 50 schools. We caught up with three of them at this week’s rally against school closings to hear their thoughts.

Photo by Jonathan Gibby

Benjamin Chacon is in 6th grade at Jean D. Lafayette Elementary School, which is on the list for closure. He hopes that the protest will convince Mayor Rahm Emanuel “to consider our schools to stay open.” Benjamin’s favorite thing about Lafayatte is sports, but after giving it some thought, he says he also likes learning.

Photo by Jonathan Gibby

Rehab Ghasim graduated from Theodore Roosevelt High School in 2011, but she still has a little sister attending the school. “Closing down the schools could endanger students safety, and that’s the top one priority,” she said, even “before education. I wish the mayor would just listen to us for once.”

Photo by Jonathan Gibby

Ismael Enriquez is a proud graduate of Chicago Public Schools, and the parent of a son and daughter whom he expects to be proud graduates as well. “This is affecting our communities, especially Latino and African-American ones,” said Enriquez, who went to David G. Farragut Career Academy High School. “I believe that what we need to do is continue to fight and march and organize and rally against our political officials.”


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  • I'm sure 6th graders know what's best for them. I guess that's why 54% of the males don't make it through the 12th grade.

    But they probably do have as good a comprehension of economics as the Muckrakers.

    Of course " I wish the mayor would just listen to us for once” has been said frequently to no effect.

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