West Side residents not giving up

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Less than 48 hours after the Chicago Board of Education voted to close 50 public schools, some West Side residents gathered to remind Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s hand-picked board that they will not give up hope.

“This thing is not over with yet, no matter what the mayor says,” said Dwayne Truss, a Raise Your Hand board member and an Austin resident. “It’s not over with yet.”

Truss and about a dozen parents, community members and residents held a press conference Friday morning at Edward Delano Elementary, 3937 W. Wilcox Ave. before school started.

Delano – like Austin’s Horatio May Elementary Community Academy – will close, but the building will stay open and welcome students from nearby closing schools.

Four Austin schools, Robert Emmet ElementaryHoratio May Elementary Community Academy, Francis Scott Key Elementary and Louis Armstrong Math & Science Elementary will close next month.

Leslie Lewis Elementary was saved from the same fate, but it’s entire staff will be replaced in a turnaround action.

In all, over 3,800 students from Austin will be affected.

Bonita Robinson, a former Ellington teacher and member of the Chicago Teachers Union Black Caucus, said the board, and it’s decision, is destabilizing the community.

“We will not let our children be lost,” Robinson said. “Right will win.”

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