Bedbugs and the Chicago Public Schools | Bleader

Bedbugs and the Chicago Public Schools


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I was out of town over the past weekend, so I missed the big news that the Chicago Public Schools had directed its investigators to look into that whole rent-a-protester thing.

I was up in Michigan. Which meant I stayed in a hotel. Which meant that before I could even put my suitcase on the bed, my wife had to check the bed for bedbugs.

Thus, we have a perfect tie-in for bedbugs week at the Reader!

My wife's been obsessed with bedbugs on account of a story she heard on WBEZ. (In fact, at this very moment, she's posting copies of Julia Thiel's bedbugs cover story to all her Facebook friends with the caption: A must-read!)

My wife's one of those people who gets most of her news from WBEZ.

I, on the other hand, get most of my news from the Chicago Sun-Times, which, as you all know, is the first thing I read every morning.

It's all part of my effort to keep the newspaper industry alive by subscribing to daily newspapers. As opposed to reading them for free on the Internet, like everyone else.

While we're on the subject: What genius in the publishing industry thought it was a good idea to give away what he or she wanted people to buy?

So while my wife is listening to really smart science stuff on WBEZ about our solar system, I'm reading advertisements for products that cure erectile dysfunction—a wonderful way to start my morning.

Back to the rent-a-protesters thing.....

That's the one where someone paid protesters to show up at CPS hearings to urge the powers that be to do whatever they want, including closing certain schools. They said stuff like "CPS knows!" and hoisted banners that read: "Wake up Everybody, time to teach a new way."

As I said before, it was sort of a dead giveaway that something fishy was going on when the protesters said "CPS knows!" Not even the Tribune's editorial board would say that. Well, on second thought....

As for the wake-up line, it comes from "Wake Up Everybody" by Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, one of the greatest songs of all time.

There's two ways of looking at this. On the one hand, it's misleading to justify closing schools based on testimony from protesters who may or may not be paid by the powers-that-be looking to close them.

On the other hand, you can't get too angry at people who quote the great Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes.

Hold on—feel the song taking over me.

"You preachers—start preaching what you teach! Wake up, preachers...."

In Rosalind Rossi's weekend article in the Sun-Times—they got more than ED ads, folks—the CPS investigators vowed to dig until they find the truth. To which Reverend Roosevelt Watkins III, a preacher who organized bus loads of protesters, basically said he's got nothing to hide. In fact, he called Renaldo Kyles, the CPS director of faith initiatives "to say he was issuing a statement inviting CPS to review his books," Rossi wrote.

I bet most Chicagoans never knew that CPS had a faith initiatives director, much less paid him about $82,000 to direct it. I'm sure you'll all agree it's a better investment than, oh, hiring an art teacher or two.

Because as everyone knows—it's all about the kids!

Oh, yes—in his role as director of faith initiatives, Kyles is also available for brises and bar mitzvahs.


About the bedbugs. There were none in that hotel bed. I had a blissful sleep and woke up rejoiced and ready to listen to some more Harold Melvin. Speaking of which....

"Politicians—stop lying!"

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