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Dyett High School Parents Plan Hunger Strike

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Parents and community leaders on the South Side have taken a drastic step as they promote their vision for the future of a Washington Park neighborhood school that closed at the end of last school year.

Members of the Kenwood Oakland Community Organization said they're going on a hunger strike to ask that Dyett High School be turned into what they want: a green technology and global leadership academy.

The activists are competing against two other proposals for an athletic career academy or a school for the arts.

KOCO education organizer Jitu Brown said they believe the Chicago Public Schools are not seriously considering the green technology plan.

"We're tired of going to CPS board meetings with people that's not listening to us. We're tired of developing world-class proposals – which is not our job as parents, but we do it because we love our children, and we want something better for them – and we're ignored," he said.


Brown, a local school council member, and parent of a second grader in the area, said the green technology plan is the best of the three proposals, but isn't getting serious consideration from the district.

"What does this system intend for my black young man? You know, when we've been loyal? I mean, we've invested time and energy. We've been law-abiding citizens. We aren't valued. Our children aren't valued," he said.

Dyett's last senior class graduated in June, and the school will be closed for the 2015-16 school year, while CPS officials decide on what kind of school it should be when it reopens for the 2016-17 school year.

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