Rick Telander’s column on the Olympics in today’s Sun-Times should be required reading for everyone in this city. I guess it takes a sportswriter to really tell it like it is.
Principals should be doing just the opposite–they should be fighting like hell against the games. They should have put all their kids on school buses and sent them downtown to join the police, who marched around City Hall protesting when the International Olympic Committee was in town visiting.
If we should end up winning the right to host the games, they won’t help the schools–they’ll take money that the schools could use. Any principal who signs onto this reverse Robin Hood scheme is essentially sacrificing this generation of school kids so the mayor can throw a blowout party in 2016.
Perhaps the saddest part of it all is how so many principals, teachers, and school officials go along with it. It’s bad enough that they allow Olympic planners to use the schools and school kids as backdrops in the marketing scheme. What’s worse is that they’re too afraid to speak up even when the Olympic planners snatch away what they already have.
I found this out when I called school officials to get their reaction to Mayor Daley’s plan to demolish the gym and pool in Collins High School–which the school system just spent $30 million fixing up–to make way for an indoor bike track.
You’d think that they’d be looking for help to hold on to their pool and gym. Think again. Most didn’t want to talk to me–I had to call several times just to get a comment. Apparently, everyone’s afraid of the mayor. The City Council’s so afraid they sell off the parking meters to give him another billion dollars to toss around. The civic community’s afraid so they throw millions at his Olympic plans. Until now.