BRONZEVILLE — Mayor Rahm Emanuel said he was not involved in last week's ouster of Blaine Elementary Principal Troy LaRaviere, a frequent critic of the Chicago Public Schools and the mayor.
Asked about the ouster during a news conference at Dunbar High School Monday, Emanuel first passed the baton to CPS Chief Education Officer Janice Jackson. Then, citing the Shakman Decree banning political hiring and firing in city government, he said, "I do not get involved with personnel decisions."
Emanuel said, "I can understand I'm being blamed," but he insisted he had no role in LaRaviere's reassignment.
Jackson said little more than that, begging off on commenting on a pending disciplinary matter.
"I think it's more appropriate to hear from CPS because it was a CPS decision," Jackson said in accepting the question first posed to the mayor. Yet she immediately added, "We're following protocol," and not commenting on a pending disciplinary issue.
"I'd like to go into more detail, but it'd be inappropriate," Jackson said. "We're actually speaking to parents tonight to answer all their questions. ... That's the next step."
Parents at Blaine Elementary, 1420 W. Grace St., rallied support for their ousted principal Monday morning. They also planned a 5:30 p.m. rally at the school ahead of the 6:30 p.m. meeting on the matter between parents and CPS officials.
LaRaviere was reassigned last Wednesday during CPS' spring break. The district cited previous warnings against "insubordination," but critics, including Aldermen David Moore (17th) and Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35th), have charged racism and political retaliation in the move.
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