Chicago LGBT student activists escalate their campaign to obtain a formal grievance process for Chicago Public Schools students. Activists with GenderJUST targeted openly gay CPS CEO Ron Huberman at a May 13 fundraiser, reports Chicago Pride.com.
"[A]bout 20 young LGBT activists intercepted Huberman as he made his way to a fundraiser, where he receives a Peace in Education award. The group surrounded Huberman before he entered the building and protested for roughly 10 minutes. According to Sam Finkelstein, Gender JUST members don't believe that Huberman has done anything to make schools safe for students, such as addressing violence. Finkelstein said, "It's bigger than just LGBT stuff. Students are literally being killed."
The Windy City Times adds: "According to [Finkelstein], Arne Duncan, the previous CEO, had also been offered a similar award but had turned it down, saying that he could not accept it in good conscience when CPS students were facing high rates of violence. Finkelstein said that recent research by GLSEN showed that 80 percent of LGBTQ students experienced some form of violence, whether physical or verbal."
Students have lobbied CPS for more than a year to develop a formal complaint process against faculty and staff accused of harassment and bias. CPS blames the current budget crisis but activists fear "outside pressures" from anti-gay right wing groups have made Huberman very cautious.
Meanwhile: At the same time Chicago schools face a $600 million shortfall and "up to 2,700 teachers and 300 non-teaching union members could be out of a job if class sizes rise from an average of 30 to 35" ... the CEO is doing quite well for himself. Huberman and his partner just purchased a $900,000 , 5-bedroom vintage Victorian house on the North Side.