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Chicago 'principal in exile' Troy LaRaviere has scheduled election campaign meetings on April 25 and 26 despite attempts by Chicago Public Schools officials to gag him and silence his criticisms of Chicago's Mayor and Emanuel's appointed public schools leaders...

Chicago's most prominent "Principal in Exile", Blaine Elementary School's Troy LaRaviere (above, in a classroom) has continued his campaign for President of the Chicago Principals and Administrators Association (CPAA) despite attempts by the Minions of Emanuel to remove him from his principalship in the hope of making him ineligible to head the second most powerful union representing CPS workers. Reminding the members of the Chicago Principals and Administrators Association (CPAA) of the potential power of the "united voice of Chicago principals and administrators," Blaine Elementary School Principal Troy LaRaviere told his main group of supporters on April 23 that they were going ahead with meetings at local restaurants on April 25 and April 26.

The April 25 and 26 restaurant meetings are scheduled as follows:

APRIL 25...Beat Kitchen, 2100 W. Belmont Ave. (On the corner of HOYNE & BELMONT), North Side, Monday, April 25th, 4:30 - 6:00 PM (4:00PM Mingle). (This meeting was relocated from nearby Alcott High School when CPS officials denied LaRaviere and his supporters the right to hold meetings in public schools).

Tuesday, April 26, 2016... Meeting at .The Ogden Chicago 1659 W Ogden Ave, Near Westside, Tuesday, April 26th, 4:30 - 6:00 PM (4:00PM Mingle). (This meeting was relocated from nearby Whitney Young High School when CPS officials barred LaRaviere and his supporters from holding meetings in Chicago's public schools).

The meetings have been rescheduled from nearby schools (Alcott and Whitney Young High School) because CPS officials have barred LaRaviere and his supporters from holding meetings inside Chicago Public Schools.

LaRaviere and his supporters learned of that banishment from the schools they lead last week, when they arrived at Stevenson Elementary School on the Southwest Side for a meeting.

Instead of being allowed inside the school, they found their paths blocked by the "Network Chief" and two "huge" CPS security guys (according to one source who asked to remain anonymous, for obvious reasons).

LaRaviere and his supporters quickly rescheduled that meeting to a nearby restaurant. The alternative was to be arrested for "trespassing." CPS legal officials had not informed those who barred the way into Stevenson that a 2010 court decision barred CPS from interfering with election activities of those who were legally running for office in the Chicago Teachers Union. Like the CTU, the CPAA is an officially recognized organization of CTU employees, but the banning from the schools has not (as of this report) been challenged in court.

Because the Chicago Teachers Union election had only one slate of candidates, the April meeting of the CTU House of Delegates voted to cancel the election. Twice in the past, in 2010 and 2013, the CORE (Caucus Of Rank and file Educators) slate has defeated opponents. On July 1, 2016, Karen Lewis and the other members of the CORE slate will be sworn in for their third three-year term as leaders of the 28,000-member teachers union. [Disclosure: this reporter is a founding member of CORE and was recently "elected" to another term as one of 150 delegates from the CTU to the conventions of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and the Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT)].

As a result of the decision inside the CTU, the CPAA is the only organization of CPS employees to be holding a contested election in May 2016. Prior to the action against LaRaviere by CPS Chief Executive Officer Forrest Claypool, the CPAA election was virtually invisible to most of the public.

Now it is a major news story, not only locally but nationally. Democratic Party Presidential Candidate Berne Sanders spoke out in support of Troy LaRaviere and criticized Mayor Rahm Emanuel in a recent statement.

In an email to a group of supporters, LaRaviere added to the power of the message, additionally focusing, for the first time in history, on the election of the leader of the potentially powerful Chicago Principals and Administrators Association. The group is holding its election next month (by mail ballot), and the outcome will determine who speaks for the principals and other administrators for the coming years. Membership in the organization is open to principals and assistant principals, and to many current administrators. The two candidates for the presidency are Troy Laraviere and former Prosser Vocational High School principal Ken ("Buzz") Hunter. The current leader of the organization, Clarice Berry, is not running for another term.

LaRaviere, who was recently selected for another term as Principal of Blaine by the Blaine Local School Council, has begun referring to himself as "Princpal in Exile." At the time of the re-assignment of LaRaviere, CPS officials also announced that they were holding a special "meeting" to explain the situation at Blaine on Monday, April 25. LaRaviere is also the parent of CPS students; his children attempt Kellogg Elementary School on the South Side.

LaRaviere accepted the challenge in an email to his closest supporters on April 23, 2016:

I'm sure you've heard the news about CPS's clumsy and desperate attempt to silence me--and scare school leaders like you into silence and submission as well. On the day I was to have a meeting with principals at Stevenson school, CPS sent downtown security personnel and a network chief (Hougard) to Stevenson to deny us access to the building.

Their desperation makes me even more hopeful than ever. We simply relocated our meeting to a nearby restaurant and had an incredibly productive planning session about how our voices and expertise can be used to impact CPS policy for the benefit of our schools and students.

We are on the verge of empowerment and their clumsy attempt to shut us down is further evidence that they see the immense potential of the united voices of principals and administrators.

It's time that we see that power too, and use it to benefit our schools.

Please come to one of the meetings listed below to learn about my new CPAA strategy of using issue-based working groups to unify principals and administrators with one another, and with individuals and organizations throughout the city who share our interests. With your help, we can re-organize the Chicago Principals and Administrators Association and institute a new way of doing business that brings an end to the isolation that stifles our collective knowledge and influence.

I hope you will consider attending one of the organizing sessions listed below:

I will arrive at each location 30 minutes early (4:00 PM). Feel free to arrive at that time if you'd like to talk in a smaller setting and ask me any questions you may have.

Beat Kitchen (Relocated from nearby Alcott High School)

2100 W. Belmont Ave. On the corner of HOYNE & BELMONT

North Side

Monday, April 25th

4:30 - 6:00 PM (4:00PM Mingle)

The Ogden Chicago (Relocated from nearby Whitney Young High School)

1659 W Ogden Ave

Near Westside

Tuesday, April 26th

4:30 - 6:00 PM (4:00PM Mingle)

For more information visit www.CPAA2016.com, watch the two-minute video on the home page, and click the “Troy’s Plan” link in the header.

I hope to see you on Monday and/or Tuesday.

Respectfully,

Troy LaRaviere

Principal-in-Exile, Blaine Elementary School

Parent, Kellogg Elementary School



Comments:

April 28, 2016 at 3:10 PM

By: James Each

ousting of Troy, and dates of future meetings

My sister Janet is a teacher for CPS. I have been aware of the struggle at her school with conditions of up keep and maintenance. I support her 100%. And she and other teachers need principles like Troy.

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