Milana Jozwiak, Staff Writer
Outrage spread rapidly among the students at Lincoln Park High School when CPS fired the school’s new principal, Mr. Thuet, and the assistant principal, Ms. Brumfield. The two were let go in response to allegations of varsity basketball team members’ sexual misconduct, but the email sent out by CPS gave little information on the subject. Team members were accused of having had and posted about inappropriate sexual interactions with the team’s female assistant coach during a tournament in Detroit, Michigan. Along with the firing of two beloved teachers, the boy’s varsity basketball team has been suspended indefinitely, endangering some players’ scholarship offers. CPS has branded their decisions “a necessary measure for student safety,” but the majority of the student body disagrees.
Lincoln Park hired a replacement principal last week, but she was fired after just three days due to physical assault allegations. Security footage was leaked of her grabbing a student by the face in a harsh way. This incident only added to the tensions at the school.
Lincoln Park High School junior Ella Wong started a petition on Change.org to “bring back Mr. Thuet and Ms. Brumfield to LP.” The petition already has over 1,700 signatures, which is particularly impressive considering the school’s enrollment of 2,095. The petition was widely praised by the community, receiving over 800 signatures within just an hour of its creation. The “reasoning for signing” section on the site is filled with students sharing personal stories that prove just how much of a positive impact Thuet and Brumfield have had on the school after the resignation of former principal Micheal Boraz. Lincoln Park High School junior Dilys Johnson said that “[Thuet] has put in a large effort to communicate with the students” and that “you feel like he wants you to succeed,” whereas Boraz was known to “ignore student requests and concerns.” Lincoln Park High School parent Eurydice Chrones agrees with Dilys, saying that CPS demonstrated “great disrespect to our community, which was finally starting to see a rise in pride.”
The overwhelming support for the petition has generated a strong backing by the student body, which inspired Ella to organize a student walkout from 10:35-11:40 and called many news outlets to come report on the story. Her motivation behind the petition was that she “loved her new principal and assistant principal. They made a huge positive impact on the school.” Using social media, Ella made the school aware of her walkout, and in response, Lincoln Park High School granted its students who chose to participate in an excused absence from their class during that time. The walkout was an overwhelming success, and news outlets are still flooding the campus.
Following the walkout, Lincoln Park High School hosted an open meeting in an attempt to settle the issue between the students and CPS. Parent Eurydice Chrones said that the meeting was “heartbreaking.” She goes on to say that “these people gave our kids hope, respect, pride, and so much more. Firing them was putting our kids in danger. The CPS officials turned their backs to our community.”
Lincoln Park High school is only one mile away from Latin, but as for how this affects the Latin community, freshman Bri Nouri said that “I haven’t heard much about the situation at Latin, but my friends at Lincoln Park are all upset with this decision and participated in the walkout.” Sophomore Remy Rigby agrees, saying that “it hasn’t strongly affected the community and [Latin] is sheltered from the reality of what is going on.” Junior Darius Nabers said that he “hasn’t heard anything regarding the situation at Latin, but has heard about it through social media.”
Despite the fact that the teachers were not rehired, Ella still considers her efforts a success because “they [the fired principals] still see the impact that they have made on the student body,” and from the looks of the situation, that may be all students can ask for right now.