- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 21, 2016

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

A Chicago principal who worked to oust Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has instead been ousted, and Vermont Sen. Bernard Sanders is crying foul.

On Wednesday, Troy LaRaviere, principal of Blaine Elementary School, was removed for his position because of “alleged acts of misconduct,” according to the school district.

Mr. LaRaviere served as an education adviser and was a supporter of Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuey” Garcia, who unsuccessfully challenged Mr. Emanuel for mayor. He also appeared in a campaign commercial for Mr. Sanders, criticizing Mr. Emanuel.

Mr. LaRaviere told the Chicago Tribune the Chicago Public School System — which is controlled by Mr. Emanuel — gave him no reason for his dismissal. He said prior to the dismissal it tried to shut down a meeting between him and other principals because they deemed it “illegal.”

Why illegal, you ask?

Because the school system thought Mr. LaRaviere was going to discuss its proposal to double the size of a maintenance contract run by a firm partly owned by Emanuel financial supporter and former NBA superstar Earvin “Magic” Johnson. Mr. LaRaviere told the Tribune he was going to write about the issue on his progressive blog.

Mr. Sanders immediately came to Mr. LaRaviere’s aid, calling Mr. Emanuel out for political retaliation.

“It is absolutely unacceptable that a school principal is facing politically-motivated retaliation because he dared to stand up to the mayor of Chicago,” Mr. Sanders said in a statement Thursday. “Principal LaRaviere, who won three straight principal merit awards handed out by the mayor, is getting results for the students at Blaine Elementary. The only explanation for his removal appears to be Mayor Emanuel’s unhealthy obsession with taking revenge.

“If we are going to build an economy that works for all, we cannot sit back and watch as workers face retaliation from bosses,” Mr. Sanders said. “I condemn Principal LaRaviere’s reassignment and call on Democrats around the country to stand up against Mayor Emanuel’s pettiness.”

The school system, for its part, told the Chicago Tribune the action was partly linked to Mr. LaRaviere’s opposition to standardized testing and a confrontation the principal had with former interim CPS CEO and school board Vice President Jesse Ruiz.

Chicago politics at its finest.


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