When the school-year starts in August, nearly 30,000 children will be displaced from their elementary schools in Chicago. The City of Chicago announced the largest wave of public school closures in American history in March 2013. African-American students are disproportionately impacted by the closings. While they account for about 40% of all students in Chicago public schools, over 80% of the students affected by the schools closings are African American. The neighborhoods where many schools are set to close are plagued with gang violence and displaced students who will be forced to travel through new areas will face an increased risk of violence. The quality of education will suffer as students are packed into larger classes. Those students who need the most resources devoted to their education are precisely the ones who will be deprived of it. The City of Chicago has ignored the widespread objections raised against the school closings.
The United States is bound by international treaties that guarantee all Americans the right to education, right to non-discrimination and equality, and right to be free from violence. The City Council of Chicago adopted the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and ordered all city agencies to advance policies that are consistent with it. The Chicago school closings violate the human rights of children in Chicago.
Sign your name to the letter to the United Nations encouraging it to take action to prevent these human right violations. A copy of the letter is available here:
- The United Nations
We are writing to sign our names to the Letter of Allegation to the United Nations, dated July 24, 2013, that asks the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education and Special Rapporteur on Racism and Special Expert on Minority Issues to investigate and prevent the human rights violations that may occur as a result of the closing of 49 public schools in Chicago.
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