OPT OUT PROCTOLOGY REPORT: Chapter One: About the principal who ruled that graham crackers were not an approved 'healthy snack' because a child Opted Out

With today's Substance, we begin our daily "Proctology Report". Everyone knows what a proctologist studies and treats, and so we are forced, again, to do that dirty noisome work by citing for national attention the Chicago principals and other "executives" who made themselves conspicuously noteworthy as educational rectums during the current struggles over the ISAT.

Today, March 6, 2014, ISAT continues and the Opt Outs continue, against some really nasty child abuse by administrators and principals.

Chicago Public Schools "Chief Executive Officer" Barbara Byrd Bennett is the second "CEO" from out of town to be appointed to head the nation's third largest school system by Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Under Byrd Bennett, the most abusive practices against children and families choosing to opt out of the ISAT test were encouraged, from the CEO on down in the chain of command. Above, Byrd Bennett at the November 20, 2013 Board of Education meeting. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.For this morning, we share, anonymously for today, with more details tomorrow, one message from a mother whose daughter was abused for opting out. As Substance has already reported, the sons of Substance's editor (George Schmidt) and reporter (Sharon Schmidt) have been treated with professionalism by their teachers and principal.

Sadly, as the following note from a Mom shows, that wasn't true in every Chicago public school when Opt Out began:

I need some advice: my daughter came home in tears from school because she sat in ter principal's office the entire day doing a 20-page packet of worksheets due to her opting out. I was not made aware of this. I was told by her teacher and principal that she was to bring a two novels to read and that she would sit in her classroom. She was also told to bring healthy snacks. She told me that herself and 3 other kids sat in principal's room he entire day. She was given a 20-page packet of worksheets on things she is just learning. The principal was constantly on her and telling her to work. Not once did she get to read the novel she was told to bring. One of the other kids had maybe 5 worksheets to do, the other played on the School ipad and the other read a book. My daughter did have a snack with her room one time, and at the end of the day she was sent back to her room to find out the room already had another snack and she couldn't have hers because it was not "healthy" (graham crackers). No one gave me an "approved" list of snacks. My daughter was crying saying she wants to take the ISATs now. Why is she feeling and being punished for this decision? She was told that she would not have any work to do and would need to read all day. Now don't get me wrong, I don't mind her having some worksheets to do, but this is ridiculous! And it's things she is still learning so she is getting no help and no one is checking her work. I sent an email to the teacher and principal about all of this. I am fuming! I am ready to keep her home. If I don't get a reply by either by tomorrow morning I will be walking into the school in the morning. Any advice on what else I should be doing?

Tomorrow Substance will begin adding the inhuman face to this and other examples of administrative child abuse by those who are trying to destroy the Opt Out movement in Chicago.


March 6, 2014 at 10:52 AM

By: Julie Woestehoff

Contact MTAS

I hope this mother will contact More Than a Score which is working on several strategies to address the retaliation against opting out students.

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:

4 + 3 =