Chicago HS Principal Pressured to Resign for Telling Kids Not to Participate in Violence and Looting
“finds herself the target of an online petition”
The principal, Joyce Kenner, is a black woman. This is unreal.
The Chicago Tribune reports:
Joyce Kenner leads Whitney Young, but after George Floyd’s killing she faces calls to resign: ‘If I don’t understand about black people and oppression, nobody else does.’
After Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in 1968, an 11-year-old Joyce Kenner witnessed people take to the streets in her hometown of Dayton, Ohio, “for the same things we are marching for today.” She recalls her father writing “black-owned business” across the window of his record store so protesters would spare it from damage.
More than 50 years later, Kenner is now the long-serving principal of Whitney Young, one of Chicago’s most selective high schools, named for a civil rights leader. She is also the mother of a black son who once had to explain to police that he had a baseball bat in his trunk because he played for the Whitney Young team…
Now, after 25 years at the helm of Whitney Young, she finds herself the target of an online petition, posted by unnamed “disappointed alumni,” calling for her to resign, claiming she has “silenced student activists speaking against all forms of injustice. Her silence and her enabling of the systematic oppression that her black and low-income students face should be condemned.” So far it’s gained more than 800 signatures…
Anyone who runs a high-profile institution for as long as Kenner is bound to have detractors, and she has weathered her share of controversies over the years.
Some who signed the resignation petition cited her history at Whitney Young, claiming she has “worked to sweep the injustices … under the rug” and “consistently puts the perception of the school by the general public over the well-being of her students.”
Other critics have focused on more recent events. Several students told the Tribune they were offended by statements Kenner made in a video address about unrest sparked by George Floyd’s killing, in which she asked that if students do protest, they not participate in violence or looting, and said the way to seek change is to get a degree and get a “seat at the table.”
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