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Town Hall on Senn High’s Military Academy

Supporters of Senn High School are holding a town hall meeting September 26 to follow up on a recent referendum calling for community input in the decision to install the Rickover Naval Academy at the school.

Last March, 70 percent of 48th ward voters supported a referrendum calling for “a formal process to receive community input regarding removal” of the military academy, which opened last fall. According to the Senn Referendum Follow-up Group, Michael Scott, then-president of the Board of Education, told them he declined to participate in such a process.

The academy was installed despite widespread opposition from Senn students, parents, and teachers, said Neal Resikoff of the Senn referendum group. The new academy has undercut ongoing improvements at Senn, he said, citing teacher positions cut and class sizes increased elsewhere in the school, loss of computer resources, and the takeover of Senn’s new gymnasium by the military academy.

Now “students, teachers, and parents would like to have the military academy out of the school,” he said.

The town hall meeting, Tuesday, September 26 at 7 p.m. at Immanuel Lutheran Church, 1500 W. Elmdale, will be moderated by Dr. Phoebe Helm, former president of Truman College. Following brief presentations of pro and con positions on the military academy, the bulk of the meeting will be given to audience participation, Resnikoff said. The Board of Education has been invited to participate, he said.

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