Hunger Strike against Chicago Public School closure ends
The Dyett High School hunger strike is over.
It lasted a little over a month but the Hunger Strike by parents and local activists from the Bronzville section of Chicago has ended after an agreement was met by the Chicago Board of Education to not close The Dyett High School.
Jitu Brown announced the end of the hunger strike Saturday at Rainbow PUSH headquarters. He and 11 others had begun the strike on August 17 in response to the Chicago Board of Education’s decision to close down their local High School. The School Board had rejected a plan submitted by the protesters to change the school to a Green Technology focused school.
Aisha Wade-Bey, one of the hunger strikers, said the group halted its protest because one of them kept saying she would die for the cause, and they realized she could.
“We did not want to see one of our fellow hunger strikers die, and she was not coming off unless everyone was coming off,” Wade-Bey, who said she lost 20 pounds during the hunger strike, said Saturday night.
“We were like, ‘OK, we need to try to make an exit plan and go ahead and come off the strike, - She said the hunger strikers still feel that city leaders “don’t care about our children, and we need to be here to fight for our children.” said Wade-Bey
The Chicago School Board has agreed to not close the school but did not agree with the protestors with their plan to transform the Dyett High School into a Green Technology school. Instead Dyett will remain open but as a school for the Arts.
Despite the outcome this is a victory for the community of Bronzville; this was the one of the few times that community engagement has stopped a school closure and privatization.
Jitu Brown, Aisha Wade-Bey and the other activists have vowed to continue their push for more control and better standards for their children’s school.