Thursday, May 23, 2013
Another Stunning Short Film
This is another exceptionally beautiful film by Kai-Duc Luong and Heather Stone, whom I've written about before.
There's some footage of West Pullman Elementary and some of its community. I walked from West Pullman to its welcoming school, Haley Elementary, with Wendy Katten a few weeks ago, but I haven't put together the footage yet.
We spent the morning at a church breakfast and then walked the distance between these schools with two parents. The receiving school is directly across the dividing line between two gang territories, and unlike other situations where we've crossed gang lines, I definitely felt the tension on this particular trip.
There's basically a shooting war going on near this dividing line, and we passed by several locations where the parents were able to describe the killings that had taken place in various locations there. We met with a mother of a child at Haley, and both sides agree that it's a terrible, terrible idea to combine these two schools. One of the mothers was anxious not to talk in front of the Haley playground, given the danger of getting shot at there.
I was kind of wrecked after this tour, I don't mind saying.
I feel like CPS has utterly no plan for these closures, but that the defacto plan is to just put the children of warring communities together and churn up more and more chaos.
The West Pullman/Haley scenario leaves me particularly ill at ease, and I hope that someday people will be honest about what happened to these communities and how it was made worse by what the CPS board just did.