Reports have surfaced that four individuals have been banned from Chicago Board of Education meetings as a result of "disruptive behavior." The individuals have been banned since December.
The four banned individuals include education activist Rousemary Vega and her husband Jesus Ramos, who were thrown out of the July board of education meeting. Ramos got into a scuffle with security guards when they asked Vega to leave the board chambers after she interrupted the meeting and called a board of education member a "coward." Progress Illinois captured some of the incident on video.
Vega, her husband and two other individuals are the only ones who have been banned from meetings so far under a district policy adopted in August 2013 that forbids "unsolicited comments and disruptive behavior. ... If any individual is removed from a meeting as a result of disruptive behavior, then the individual may forfeit their right of reentry to future Chicago Board of Education meetings."
The district's policy, which the Chicago Public Schools says is intended to "ensure that the public's right to be informed of the Board's proceedings and actions is honored, and not impeded," does not sit well with some education organizers.
"I think it’s a symptom of a totally flawed structure. Sure, I get that screaming while someone else is making their point is a problem, but I don’t think banning people is the answer," Wendy Katten of the Raise Your Hand education coalition told DNAinfo Chicago. "What we have here is a major stifling of voices — in all facets."
Read more on the issue here.