CPS had massively -- and ludicrously -- censored the official video of critical student testimony on July 24 , 2013 and cut all those who were dragged out of the meeting -- AGAIN

The official version of the Chicago Board of Education meeting of July 24, 2013 left out the protest by more than 15 CPS students who assembled along the wall, above, and demanded "No school closings." The TV monitor (above left corner) focused on the Board secretary and an empty podium during the event, which lasted nearly five minutes. The regular censorship of the official video version of the Board meetings has become a larger and more risible joke as David Vitale has worked to prevent the enormity of the opposition to his policies from making it on to the TV screens. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.As the David Vitale Board of Education, appointed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, continues to try and cover up all of the opposition to its policies, a dramatic example of CPS censorship became available on the Board's own website. The Board of Education has taken to routinely publishing videos of their meetings -- but only after massive censorship of speakers who are overly critical of the Board, the mayor, or the sanctimonious and self-important individuals who said "Yes" when Rahm Emanuel asked them to become part of his rubber stamp.

Substance has previously joined with others to report on the censorship and other antics of the Board members, most notably following the May 22, 2013 meeting. At that meeting, Vitale and "Chief Executive Officer" Barbara Byrd Bennett ordered the forcible removal of about a dozen speakers who spoke critically of the Board's plan to close 49 of the city's real public schools and undermine about a dozen others through "co-location" (with charter schools) or "turnaround." Working with Labor Beat and some of those who were dragged out of the Board Chambers for protesting the Board's work, Substance was able to help bring the actual facts and history into the public record.

The URL for the video that exposes the mendacity of the official version of the May 22 meeting is at:

Some observers thought that the regular exposure of the puerile antics of the leadership of the third largest school system in the USA would get them to tone down their silliness. But following the July 24, 2013, Board meeting, it became clear that they were going to move forward into monthly farce in their public preseentation videos, which are published on the Web following the Board meeting.

Most of the speaker at the July 24 meeting were critical of the Board, as usual.

Tim Meegan, above turning, was pushed away from the speakers' podium by CPS security when he continued speaking against the CPS closings and cuts after the secretary called "time." Not that the official photograph on the TV screen (above right corner) shows the empty podium and CPS security chief Jadine Chou, who came to CPS to head security after her vast experience in the field while she served as "Portfolio Manager" for the Chicago Housing Authority. Meegan's children attend Mitchell Elementary School, while he teaches social studies at Roosevelt High School, which is facing a cut of more than $1 million. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt. Several were dragged away from the microphone, as usual.

But the most droll of the censorships came when the Board's censors gobblyedgooked the testimony of several students at one point, then put in the students' testimony, but left out a key part of each. Then blacked out the well organized protest that took place when the students had completed their passionate individual presentations.

One of the ironies of the July 24, censorship, which appears at "Part Five" of the Board's videos on line at the Board's website, is that the Board members had apparently been led to believe that all those well-dressed honor students who were preparing to speak to the Board were somehow in agreement with the Board. The Board had even reserved seats for the students prior to the meeting, and David Vitale spoke nicely about them -- before they spoke.

Rather than have 200- to 250-pound muscular security people drag young Asean Johnson away from the podium during the July 24, 2013 meeting of the Chicago Board of Education, Board President David Vitale signaled that Johnson should not be prevented from speaking (even though Johnson was not signed up on the official list). Johnson was one of more than a dozen students who leveled major criticisms of CPS policy and called to an elected school board. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt. As reported at, more than a half dozen students testified critically during the public participation portion of the Board meeting of July 24, 2013. Those students then stood together, linked arms, and unfurled a banner challenging the Board. But on the video of the Board meeting, none of the students is seen. Instead, part of their words can be heard, while the video shows others who also testified at the meeting.

The censorship of Board of Education meetings begins long before the meeting. Although the August 28 meeting is still more than ten days away, as of August 20, the number of people who could speak to the Board had already been gagged at 60 and no longer could anyone speak to the Board. The video of the most humorous part of the meeting's censorship comes during 'PART FIVE' of the meeting, when the students who had signed up to speak spoke, one after the other, highly critical of CPS policies.

The testimony of the students is supposed to be available on line at the cps website at:


Add your own comment (all fields are necessary)

Substance readers:

You must give your first name and last name under "Name" when you post a comment at We are not operating a blog and do not allow anonymous or pseudonymous comments. Our readers deserve to know who is commenting, just as they deserve to know the source of our news reports and analysis.

Please respect this, and also provide us with an accurate e-mail address.

Thank you,

The Editors of Substance

Your Name

Your Email

What's your comment about?

Your Comment

Please answer this to prove you're not a robot:

5 + 2 =