Student Voices of 2016

#1 Testimony by Evelyn Solis - Kelly High School graduate

Hello and good afternoon, my name is Evelyn Solis. I am an alumni of Kelly high school and a freshman at loyola university.

As a cps student I became very concerned about the lack of money our neighborhood schools get. I have been very active since i found out that a charter school was going to be built near my school. I joined other Kelly students to fight for my school because the Board of Education wouldn’t. When we lost, it made me realize that we have to keep on fighting.

I started organizing and working with other students to continue to raise our voices against these injustices. I started going to board of ed meetings. I have participated many times now and this is what I have learned. They don’t want to listen to us.

Once, I went to speak along with other members of the chicago student union. The board prohibited many of the students from speaking because they had already spoken the month before and because they said we were all speaking on the same issues. And do you know what else is crazy? The board banned a CPS student from entering the meetings. A STUDENT.

That shows you how intimidated they are of students who speak up.

I was allowed to speak and I talked about how school closings affected many students and parents, how many families are struggling, how kids are struggling in overcrowded classrooms because teachers have been laid off and their tutoring programs were cut.

Do You know what they asked me? Why wasn’t I in school?

I was surprised. I didn’t think they had even noticed I was there. A lot of them were not paying attention and one board member was even falling asleep.