Reprinted from Last Stand for Children First - www.laststand4children.org
If you've ever seen Mr. Holland's Opus, you will remember the amazing moment at the end of the movie when many of Mr. Holland's former students reunite to play the symphony he wrote, but never got to really do much with because he was too busy teaching his students and helping them in their lives.
I can only imagine when these Lafayette School students become adults and reunite to thank Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel for closing their school and providing them with much greater educational opportunities. One can't help, but feel sorry for these kids who don't even have woodwinds and must rely almost entirely on strings and one drum to make their music.
Lafayette School is just one of 54 schools that the Chicago Public Schools are planning to close. Lafayette's Illinois School Report Card shows just what a colossal failure it is. With 98% of the student population living in poverty, should they really be earning the upright bass? Why not teach these students instruments that they could play on street corners and help their families out? It seems to me fine arts money could be better used on more affluent students in the first place.
Mayor Emanuel has never visited Lafayette School nor have any School Board members, but they must have done their homework shutting down this school and making these students go to a new school 10 blocks away. It may even be a good chance for the 166 students at the school with special needs to learn some life skills. Now, if only the parents would stop complaining and start letting the Mayor do what's best for their kids.