The Chicago Tribune reported today that Michael Scott, the President of the Chicago Public School’s Board of Education, sent an email to ALL of the city’s public schools urging them all to plan events at their schools to promote the 2016 bid. Scott is also a member of the 2016 Committee and the co-chair of the Community Outreach Committee.
Scott’s e-mail stated that each school’s participation would be graded as “gold, silver or bronze,” with the lowest level including developing an “Olympic week proclamation,” raising the Chicago 2016 flag at the school and including Olympic-themed activities in the classrooms. The e-mail also said that a person from Scott’s office would be following up by phone with the principals.
Although teachers union officials said Scott’s e-mail was a heavy-handed attempt to force school employees to support the bid, the board president said that’s not what he intended. “It’s absolutely voluntary,” he said Friday. He acknowledged that the e-mail was strongly worded in its urging to participate, but said school leaders shouldn’t feel intimidated.
The 2016 Olympic bid calls for the closing and demolition of several public schools where venues will be built or operated. But it’s all for the kids and love of sport, right? Watch for the 2016 Committee to run pictures from these coerced events and claiming that hey demonstrate community support for the games.
The Washington Post also picked up on this story and notes that Michael Scott’s email closes with “You must sign up by Monday, April 27.”
No Games requests that we be allowed to email all the public school principals with our own study guide so that students can ask the sorts of questions about the games that no one else seems to be asking.