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Know Your Rights
Source: New York Post
Subject: Education Justice
Type: Media Coverage

Parent Protest Shakes School-Shakeup Meeting

Dozens of angry parents, students and activists (including members of Make the Road by Walking) last night disrupted a panel meeting headed by Chancellor Joel Klein, in protest of his planned reorganization of the city’s school system.

Chanting, “No respect for parents” and “Listen to the parents,” about 60 protesters stalled the monthly gathering of the Panel for Educational Policy at Department of Education headquarters for 20 minutes.

Echoing the cries of previous rallies, the parents complained that their voices had been ignored by officials planning the school shakeup.

“They expect us to rubber-stamp this, and we won’t do it,” said T. Thaddaeus Brown, who has a child attending PS 53 in Brooklyn.

“They haven’t consulted parents,” he said. “They’re just notifying them of their plans.”

Klein, who repeatedly asked that the crowd quiet down, later called the disruption “unfortunate” but said he believed the protesters did not reflect the opinions of most parents.

Organized by the Working Families Party and a handful of advocacy groups that had put together past rallies, the protest attracted a hodgepodge of participants, including some with no apparent stake in the city’s public-school system.

One boisterous 17-year-old student from Cardinal Hayes HS, which is run by the New York Archdiocese, said he attended the rally at the request of his neighborhood community center in The Bronx.

Another protester was the father of two children who attend school in New Jersey.