#FightForDyett: Young Teachers Collective in Solidarity with the Dyett Hunger Strikers

By: The Young Teachers Collective Coordinating Committee

Today, twelve parents, community members, and teachers enter their 8th day of a hunger strike to save Dyett High School on the South Side of Chicago. According to the Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools, Dyett High School is the last open-enrollment public high school in the Bronzeville Neighborhood. Over the past few years, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) has attempted to close Dyett, but the local community has developed a plan to change Dyett into a sustainable community school called the “Dyett Global Leadership and Green Technology Academy.” The proposal put forth for the Dyett Global Leadership and Green Technology Academy was created by the community for the community, aiming to create a student-centered school rooted in the community that fosters student leadership development and green technology. According to the proposal, the vision for this school is to “develop [their] students into ‘community centered scholars,’ with the confidence, competence and compassion to positively develop themselves, their school, their community, and society overall.”

Image of the dozen teachers, parents, and community members participating in the hunger strike, courtesy of Jitu Brown (@brothajitu), National Director of the Journey for Justice Alliance.

The Alliance to Reclaim our Schools has put out a call for people across the country to strike tomorrow, Tuesday, August 25, in solidarity with the twelve parents, teachers, and community members in Chicago. All five coordinating members of the Young Teachers Collective will be participating in the solidarity strike. As new and future teachers, it is imperative that we stand with the community. Strong community schools are essential to sustaining the neighborhoods in which they operate. The power to influence local schools needs to be put back into the community’s hands as schools are the heart of the community. We as teachers should not stand on the sidelines as spectators but instead stand in solidarity with the Dyett parents as they fight for their children’s futures and educations. As such, we encourage all of our members and non-members to join the one-day solidarity hunger strike. After all, if we fail to fight for community schools now, there may be none left for us to teach at and more importantly, none for our students to learn at nor any around which to build communities. This is not some cleanse or fad. This is a cry for justice.

To read more on the hunger strike, please follow these links and search for #FightForDyett, #WeAreDyett, and #SaveDyett on Twitter.

  1. Chicago Parents Launch Hunger-Strike for Community Input in School’s Future: An Interview with Chicago Parent-activist Jitu Brown and professor Pauline Lipman
  2. Hunger Strike: The Fight for Dyett High School in Chicago by Michelle Gunderson
  3. Chicago Parents Launch Hunger Strike Over Closing Of Dyett High School
  4. Chicago Organizers Lead Hunger Strike to Save Dyett High School via The Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools
  5. Teachers for Social Justice: Support the Hunger Strike for the Dyett Global Leadership and Green Technology High School
  6. Dyett High Hunger Strike: Things To Know by Peter Greene via CURMUDGUCATION
  7. CTU president Karen Lewis supports Dyett High School hunger strike
  8. Jesse Jackson Joins Hunger Strike Demanding CPS Make a Decision on Dyett

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