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SUBSCRIPT: Mary Richardson Lowry's Police State treatment is an equal opportunity employer as most charter parents get herded, pushed around, insulted and bullied same as everyone else at the Chicago school board's January 2011 meeting

Above, after giving every charter school tout extra time during the Chicago Board of Education meeting of January 26, 2011, Board President Mary Richardson Lowry (above) ordered CPS massive security to block further comments from Whittier parents and force the women, most of whom were half the size of the security sicced on them by the Board President, out of the room. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt, above, was taken as Richardson Lowry ordered the security to block and remove Whittier.If you were paying close attention to the swirls of human activity taking place during the January 26, 2011 meeting of the Chicago Board of Education, you would have noticed that all of the parents and teachers trying to say something to the Board at its public meeting — charter school people and real public school people alike — were being treated with the same fascist disdain that the Board has shown for the public and democracy during the 15 years since Richard M. Daley took over the schools in 1995. January 26 was no different from dozens of Board meetings, where the seven members of the Board, led by a President who has no understanding of public schools, democracy, or children's education in the real world, bullies, badgers and bullshits through another couple of hours of mandatory "democracy" once a month.

The main fact about the 2011 meetings of the Chicago Board of Education is that they are held downtown during what used to be called "Bankers Hours" in a location where it can cost as much as $29 to park (or $5 to take what is euphemistically called "public transportation") at the Board's headquarters at 125 S. Clark St., three blocks north of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and three blocks south of City Hall. According to the CPS presentations of late, Chicago has more than 600 "public schools", many of which have parking lots that can hold 500 or more cars (or yellow school buses) and auditoriums that can seat 500, 1,000 or even more people. And Chicago's school board used to meet in those schools, so the "public" could take part in the public meetings of what is arguably the most public of public bodies, the Chicago Board of Education. But just as there are more bankers on the Board than parents or teachers (in fact, not one member of the Board currently has children in the city's public schools, and only one of the current members actually ever did), so is it that "Bankers Hours" are Board hours and the public be darned (or "damned" depending upon who is talking).

The Board security staff who removed Whittier parents from the podium at the January 26 Board meeting were, on average, double the size of the parents they were manhandling. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.Over the past 35 years, the Board's treatment of the public has ranged from disdain to Police State, with the latter being the preferred method of the grammatically challenged current Board President (Mary Richardson Lowry, who masks a vast ignorance of schools and children behind some of the most priceless mindless lawyerly jargon ever uttered regularly by a Chicago public official; example on the fun side — she keeps calling Board members by her version of their name; for example, Tariq Butt is "Dr. Butts"...). What is an amazing tribute to democracy is that more than 1,000 people showed up at the January 26, 2011 Chicago Board of Education meeting and stayed and held their ground despite every effort on the part of Mary Richardson Lowry, the six other members of the Board, and the doubletalking "Chief Executive Officer" Terry Mazany to ignore, patronize, or bully them...



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