Fighting School Closure—Support the #FightforDyett and the Schools Our Children Deserve

Our coalition allies in the Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools have asked AFT members’ help in an ongoing battle over school closure and repurposing in Chicago that is part of the national fight for the schools our children deserve. It’s a fight against top-down pseudo-reform that we are sadly all too familiar with in Texas.

In the particular case at hand in Chicago, for more than three weeks now a dozen parents, teachers, and community members have been leading a hunger strike to save Dyett High School—and in so doing they have inspired education justice advocates across the country. The courageous actions of the Dyett 12 stand as a shining example of the dedication and passion that drive social change.

On September 2 the Dyett hunger strikers took their fight to Washington, D.C., where they delivered a letter to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and asked him to intervene in Chicago. They also held a national press conference there with representatives from The Advancement Project, The Schott Foundation for Public Education, The Coalition for Community Schools, The Center for Popular Democracy, The Journey for Justice Alliance, The Alliance for Educational Justice, AFT, and NEA.

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Since then, according to news reports, the Chicago mayor has responded with a belated attempt to deflect community criticism by offering his own proposal to repurpose rather than close the school. But he did so without consulting stakeholders in the school community or giving due consideration to their long-pending proposal for a sustainable community-school model to be introduced at Dyett High. So the hunger strike goes on.

Here are two quick ways the Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools offers you to support the Dyett Hunger Strikers and the national fight for the schools all our children deserve:

1. Sign our petition to show that you agree our nation needs more sustainable community schools like the one the Dyett 12 are fighting for and that you are committed to joining the fight.

2. Take a selfie with a #FightforDyett sign. Share the picture on Twitter and Facebook and say why you support the Dyett Hunger Strikers and community schools.

The Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools sums up what is stake in these terms:

We must stand together as a national force against those who seek to privatize our public schools, dissolve elected school boards and shut out the voices of parents, teachers and students.

Join our national network of people taking action to win the very kind of schools that the Dyett Hunger Strikers are demanding.