Chicago Public School – Lafayette School – Last day of school – Lessons Learned

Last night heard on WBEZ Radio on the way home that some parents had occupied some of the classrooms on the last the day of school at Lafayette School in Humboldt Park. When I got there the bulk of the police activity was over however I noticed that my friend Donald Kuss was there and had been involved with the parents that had occupied the classrooms. I met Rousemary Vega and her daughters and son, I took some images of her and we briefly chatted and I left. I thought for a while about the significance of last night events, nothing really happened as far as the city was concerned, and in others schools their closures were met with no resistance, but here was Rousemary Vega standing up against a system of bureaucracies and politicians that has decided to remove all public schools from the East Humboldt Park area. Rousemary  seem to me to be was a gentle soul that is trying to raise 3 kids in a though neighborhood where Lafayette School represented hope and stability in a gang infested area. I salute with this picture tribute Rousemary Vega, her husband and her family!


Sad day for Chicago Photojournalism!

Chicago Sun Times Fires all paid staff photographers will use freelancers.

Today is a very sad day for professional photojournalists all over, this is a decision long time coming.,0,4361142.story

Tell me what you think!

Humboldt Park Images – Lafayette School Closing – Opinion Photography

lafayette_sign (1 of 1)

Lafayette School Closing

I want to take this opportunity to salute the teachers of Lafayette School which is scheduled to be closed on short notice by the Chicago Public School System at the end of this school year in June.

I believe the announcement of the school closures on the last part of March is a deliberate attempt by CPS to fizzle out the teacher and parents criticism over the summer by not giving enough time for hearings or public comment.

If you happen to live at the corner of Division and California streets the walk to Chopin School (Chicago and Western Avenues) for parents will be almost a mile, many of these parents are poor and do not have transportation except for strollers and many times have other children, think in the middle of January with temperature of 10 degrees it will be brutal. With the closing of this school and several others in Humboldt Park there will be no CPS schools in the central area of Humboldt Park near Division Street, how can this be? Is this a move to get charters schools in and reduce union rolls?

I salute the staff because they have worked so hard throughout the years under such difficult circumstances and have toiled with love and care for children that in some cases do not have the support their parents and are low income. You are not “under- utilized” because you have 900 + students and why would CPS in 2011 perform a complete “renovation” if the school was in the distant future planning to be closed.

I went by yesterday to take images of the school and to relay to my buddy Chip Mitchell on the afternoon when I went for a second round of photos I found this on the school marquee. I appreciate this message of help from the staff in defiance to the CPS.