DEFEND ANTI-RACIST TEACHERS!
In January, 1999, the racist Board of Education removed Moises Bernal from Chicago Vocational Career Academy. He had been teaching there since the fall of 1997. A year later, Carol Caref, was pulled out of her teaching assignment at the same school. Bernal and Caref are revolutionary communists and members of Progressive Labor Party.
The Board of Education is trying to fire them for political reasons. Bernal took students to a rally against police brutality. Caref took students to a demonstration against the KKK. They should be applauded-- not fired!
WHAT IS RACIST SCHOOL REFORM?
The plan to overhaul the public schools was hatched about ten years ago, when then-President Bush convened a meeting with the heads of Ford, GM, IBM, and others. US bosses are facing stiffer competition from other capitalist powers in Europe and Asia. The world is more unstable, with new wars popping up almost daily.
In order to meet this intensifying rivalry, both in the factories and on the battlefield, the bosses need a new generation of loyal, highly productive, low-paid workers, who will kill and die to keep the economic "boom" alive. That’s what’s behind Daley and Vallas’ racist "School Reform."
In 1997, seven predominately black schools were "reconstituted." All the teachers were fired and had to re-interview to get their jobs back. Many veteran teachers lost their jobs or were bumped to other schools. In January 1999, 137 were terminated.
The Board was sending a fascist message: "Do what you are told or else. Get higher test scores or you will be reconstituted. Use Zero Tolerance to get rid of ‘problem’ students."
Since 1997, 42,255 K-8 students, and 33,887 high school students have been suspended. Only one percent was suspended for weapons: only three percent for drugs.
In this same period, 1,537 students have been expelled; 1,128 are black, only 69 are white. Black students are 54 percent of the student body, but 72 percent of all expulsions. This system is racist to the core. (All figures from Chicago Public Schools, End of Year Reports to Illinois State Board of Education)
At the same time, teachers are forced to teach to the invalid and racist measure of standardized tests. The Amendatory Act made it illegal for teachers to strike. Health plan options were reduced, and teachers were forced to pay for part of the cost.
The union leadership formally signed on as a partner to this fascist scheme. CTU president Tom Reece confessed, "If one partner had been uncooperative, we never would have been able to come this far. The key to [our] success…has been the willingness of the union, the superintendent and the mayor to work as full partners."
"Restructuring" is now called "reengineering," but it’s the same old garbage. Clinton, who wiped out welfare, put 100,000 more killer cops on the streets, doubled the Border Patrol and the prison population, has used the Chicago schools as "the model for the rest of the country."
RED TEACHERS FIGHT BACK!
As you can see, the two PLP members facing termination are just a small fraction of the number of students and teachers thrown out of school. The racist Board knows they are hated by those they rule over, and even two communists is too many for them to tolerate.
Communist teachers tell their students, "Fight to Learn, Learn to Fight!" Bernal and Caref have been good teachers, in and out of the classroom. They have been caring and committed to their students and have encouraged them to become active fighters for a world without racism and poverty, borders or oil wars. For the bosses to succeed in winning our youth to fascist ideas, they must get rid of communists. They attack us because they fear you!
We can build a movement that can take on the Board and the city bosses. We can turn their racist attacks against them. Ultimately, the only lasting victory will be when the working class, led by PLP, seizes power from the bosses with communist revolution.
Only when we have a system that produces for the needs of the international working class, instead of the profits of the billionaires, will we be able to fully realize the true potential of our beautiful youth.
What can you do to help?
Contribute generously to the Caref-Bernal Legal Defense Fund
Join the Caref-Bernal Defense Committee
Invite Caref or Bernal to your church, group, school, PTA, LSC, block club, etc. to build support for their case.
Participate in Demonstrations protesting these firings
Distribute Challenge and other PLP literature