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Principal who parents and local school council sought to oust for chronic failed leadership downplays latest incident of intolerance.

CHICAGO, November 3, 2022 — The Chicago Teachers Union issued the following statement after learning of another incidence of intolerance at Jones College Prep High School, which has been dogged by complaints of antisemitism, racism and homophobia for years under the school’s current leadership.

“We’ve learned this week of yet another incident of prejudice at Jones College Preparatory High School – a selective enrollment school that has been plagued for years with charges that include persistent racial intolerance. Once again, the school principal has utterly failed students, educators and families in his dismal response. We call on him to resign – and if he refuses, for CPS to remove him from his leadership position at Jones.”

“Students, parents, teachers and support staff have sought repeatedly to raise concerns about the culture of intolerance at Jones, but have been routinely ignored. What is most alarming about the latest reckless and reprehensible action is that it is part of a pattern of behavior at Jones College Prep, where, for years, students have felt discrimination, homophobia and racial hatred from peers and administrators. Anti-immigration sentiment made its way into the school’s yearbook less than five months ago, and coupled with this latest incident, is clear evidence that Principal Paul Powers and his administration are unfit to lead and must be removed immediately.

“There should never, ever, be a context in which children feel uncomfortable or unsafe inside of a school building. Jones is more than 50 percent students of color, and its current climate of rampant bigotry and racial intolerance is absolutely unacceptable. All schools need leadership that provides a safe and inclusive environment for each and every student and adult who walks through its doors.

“Everyone at Jones suffers as behavior such as this goes unchecked and undisciplined, and for Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Chicago Public Schools to keep the current administration in place shows their lack of regard for the families, faculty and staff they should be protecting.”

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Check out “The School Chicago Students Deserve 3.0”, bringing our groundbreaking 2012 CTU report into the 21st century, with a focus on COVID-19 pandemic recovery and real equity for hundreds of thousands of neglected working class, Black and Latinx students, families and school communities.  

The Chicago Teachers Union represents more than 25,000 teachers and educational support personnel working in Chicago Public Schools, and by extension, the nearly 400,000 students and families they serve. The CTU is an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers and the Illinois Federation of Teachers and is the third-largest teachers local in the United States. For more information please visit the CTU website at www.ctulocal1.org.