Protesters shut down Chicago school board meeting over closings, turnarounds

By Joel Hood and Noreen S. Ahmed-Ullah, Chicago Tribune reporters
December 15, 2011

More than 50 protesters took command of Chicago Public Schools’ board meeting Wednesday, shouting down board members in a dramatic show of force against proposed school closings, consolidations and turnaround projects.

In a chaotic scene that echoed recent Occupy protests in Chicago and elsewhere, school board President David Vitale abruptly suspended the public meeting after protesters disrupted a presentation by CPS chief Jean-Claude Brizard by reading from prepared statements denouncing the board, its policies, charter school expansion and systemic failures of the city’s public school system.

“We see through the sound bites. You have betrayed the public trust,” one protester yelled. “You have failed Chicago’s children. You pray at the altar of greed.”