CHICAGO — Chicago Public Schools attempted to dissuade students from taking part in Monday protests against school closings.
CPS sent recorded voice mails to parents of high school students over the weekend saying: "Chicago Public Schools had been made aware that a non-CPS organization has distributed a flyer to high schools throughout the district that your child may have received."
The announcement supposedly said students would be bused Downtown for a protest, and a parental-consent form was attached.
"We strongly encourage that every student attend the full school day [Monday] and every school day throughout the year," it continued. "This activity is not planned nor endorsed by either the student's school or CPS."
CPS Chief Executive Officer Barbara Byrd-Bennett sent out a similarly worded email to parents.
"As a parent and lifelong educator, I believe that the only place students should be during the school day is in the classroom with their teachers getting the education they need to be successful in life," wrote Byrd-Bennett.
"As adults, we should encourage students to take advantage of every moment of the school day they can learn and grow," she said.
Tweeted 17-year-old Angelique @Zinc323 Monday: "Do you know what's more disruptive to learning than boycotting? School closures."
The Chicago Teachers Union and grassroots community groups began a three-day march of protests over the weekend that was scheduled to climax with a rally Downtown at Daley Plaza at 4 p.m. Monday.
The Board of Education is scheduled to vote on individual school closures at its regularly scheduled monthly meeting on Wednesday.