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Groups call for probe into dismissals of Black principals at Chicago Public Schools

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(The Center Square) – Chicago Principals and Administrators Association President Troy LaRaviere vows to do all he can to hold accountable those he feels are responsible for the systematic removals of at least seven Black Chicago Public Schools principals from their schools.

“CPS officials have developed a system designed to create fabricated reports that are used to remove principals, particularly Black principals, from these schools,” LaRaviere told The Center Square. “These reports are filled with false statements collected from some teachers in these schools and from there they ignore any evidence that contradicts the false statements and even suppress evidence. They have it set up where all the evidence heard is false and only in support of their narrative.”

LaRaviere was recently joined at news conference held outside CPS headquarters by the likes of nationally known trial attorney Ben Crump, Father Michael Pfleger and members of the Rainbow Push coalition, where they accused the district of discrimination and corruption.

“We need an investigation by a higher authority to confirm what we found,” LaRaviere added. “That could be from the state’s attorney, or maybe the attorney general. What’s clear is someone needs to dig into why this is happening. I know this city is run by real estate brokers, bankers and corporate types and they all have an eye on these south side schools that are in areas where they want to do gentrification.”

Crump points to the cases of Lindblom Math and Science Academy principal Abdul Muhammad and Hyde Park Academy principal Antonio Ross, both of whom were recently fired despite the objections of many parents and with CPS officials offering few details about what led to the changes.

“We want to mount a campaign to get citizens and organizations to push for an independent investigation so that we have answers,” LaRaviere said. “Right now, we’re working on taking the momentum we have and getting people of influence to put pressure on the different government bodies to do their jobs.”

“Ultimately, LaRaviere said he would like to see all seven of the principals put back in their positions and those who wrongly targeted them made to face the consequences.

“It’s the right thing and it would be in the best interest of the schools,” he added. “These were strong voices in the community and the schools involved were on an upward trajectory. It looks to me like CPS wants to see these schools fail and these strong leaders are getting in the way.”

Soon after the news conference had ended, CPS officials released a statement saying, “At Chicago Public Schools, we know that Black, Latinx, Asian, Indigenous and other school leaders of color make a huge impact in the lives of our students, not only academically, but socially, emotionally, and mentally. While we have made great strides to ensure that the diversity of our school leaders and central and network staff reflects the diversity of our student body, we are committed to continuing to invest in recruitment and retention efforts.

“As a District, we strive to make sure all our schools have strong leaders dedicated to the success of their staff, students, and communities. The District has comprehensive procedures in place to thoroughly investigate allegations of staff misconduct, ensuring our employees are afforded proper due process, and make fair employment decisions. Such investigations take time and preclude us from providing ongoing and detailed updates, however, we are confident in the decisions made by the leaders of our District. We are committed to continuing to work with families and community members to ensure that we address their concerns and ensure that our schools are safe and inclusive learning environments for all students and staff.”

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