Meeks Wants Kids To Skip School, Flood Offices
State Senator Says City’s Business Community Needs To Help Fix School Funding Disparities
CHICAGO (CBS) ― After a long summer vacation, students are usually back in the classroom on the first day of school. But community activists are urging Chicago students to play hooky instead.
Imagine hundreds of Chicago school kids flooding the lobby of the Aon building for days in September, and the Chase Tower, and other downtown buildings.
CBS 2’s Derrick Blakley reports that’s the newest tactic in the planned school boycott unveiled Thursday by state Senator James Meeks.
“And I dare them to arrest our children and send them to jail because they want a quality education,” Meeks said at a Federal Plaza rally.
Meeks and other black ministers repeated the first day school boycott is on for Sept. 2, with scores of Chicago students heading to New Trier High School in north suburban Winnetka to underscore disparities in school funding.
“When people say money doesn’t matter, it just verified the importance of us going to New Trier,” said the Rev. Ira Acree of Greater St. John Bible Church.
Then, from Sept. 3-5, Meeks plans to have kids descend on corporate offices. The idea is to force big business to back equal education funding, they way they’ve backed a Chicago Olympics.
“It became an idea, and the entire business community got behind it,” Meeks said of the city’s Olympic bid. “School funding is a problem and everyone’s ignored it.”
Downtown workers agree the tactic will draw attention.
“It would be very disruptive but they’d make a point. They’d make a point,” Hallie Page said.
Suzanne Hamilton said it was, “Real life, in your face awareness. It’s important to do things like that. It has an impact.”
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