Matthew Henson Parents, Stakeholders Launch Balloons in Show of Unity and Hope

Chicago 4/23/13 Parents, teachers, students, community groups and neighborhood members will join forces in opposition against the Chicago Public School proposed closure of Matthew A. Henson Elementary school. The Unity Rally, located at 1326 S Avers and is supported by Chicago Teachers Union, Henson Local School Council members, west side elected officials, clergy, Save Our Schools Neighborhood Coalition, Lawndale Alliance, Action Now, parents, teachers and students.

“We at Henson Elementary recognize that this process of closing our school is illegitimate. Henson parents, workers and teachers have not been consulted about ending this cornerstone of our community,” said Jeanette Darrough, Henson LSC member.

“We know that Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his unelected Board of Education members have denied our needs for as long as they have been in power,” said Darrough. “CPS plans to close Matthew Henson Elementary School and send students to the Charles Evans Hughes Elementary School. CPS has no plans for the Henson School building. Although CPS has stated that the receiving school is Hughes, the new attendance boundaries will, in fact, direct more Henson students to Herzl, a turnaround school managed by AUSL,” said Darrough.

Residents also question the independence of the decisions being made, given the fact that CPS Board President Vitale is the former AUSL board chairman, and Tim Cawley, Chief Administrative Officer at CPS, is a former AUSL executive. “The big winner in all of this is AUSL”, said Valerie F. Leonard, Co-Founder of the Lawndale Alliance. “We, the people of Henson and Lawndale are the ones who have everything to lose,” said Leonard.

Press Conference: 4:00 pm.

Unity Rally and balloon launch immediately following

Contact: Jeanette Darrough 312-330-6127, Valerie F. Leonard, (773) 521-3137 or (773) 571-3886 (cell)

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About 900poundgorilla

W.C. Turck is a Chicago playwright and the author of four widely acclaimed books.His latest is "The Last Man," a prophetic novel of a world ruled by a single corporation. His first novel, "Broken: One Soldier's Unexpected Journey Home," was reccommended by the National Association of Mental Health Institutes. His 2009 Memoir, "Everything for Love" chronicled the genocide in Bosnia and the siege of Sarajevo. His third book "Burn Down the Sky" is published exclusively on Amazon Kindle. It was in Sarajevo at the height of the siege where he met and married his wife, writer and Artist Ana Turck. FOX NEWS, ABC, CBS News, the Chicago Tribune and The Joliet Herald covered their reunion after the war. He helped organized relief into Rwanda during the 1994 genocide. Turck has been a guest on WMAQ-TV, WLS in Chicago, WCPT, WBBM radio, National Public Radio, Best Of the Left and the Thom Hartmann show. He has spoken frequently on Human Rights, Genocide and Nationalism. In 2011, his play in support of the Occupy Movement, "Occupy My Heart-a revolutionary Christmas Carol" recieved national media attention and filled theaters to capacity across Chicago. He remains an activist to the cause of human rights and international peace. View all posts by 900poundgorilla

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