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Rahm Whacks Back? Outspoken Principal Loses Position

Two weeks after yet more statements critical of the mayor, the Lake View principal appears on his way to finally losing his job.

Troy LaRaviere   Photo: Chris Sweda/Chicago Tribune

So much for that.

Two weeks after Chicago published an interview with Blaine Elementary principal Troy LaRaviere under the headline “CPS Principal Troy LaRaviere Whacks Rahm—and Still Keeps His Job,” it appears the outspoken critic of Mayor Emanuel won’t be keeping his job for much longer.

DNAinfo was first to report that school officials had notified Blaine parents Wednesday night that LaRaviere was being “reassigned” to an unspecified position, a move that will be followed by a hearing to consider suspension without pay.

According to a Chicago Public Schools statement, the district removed LaRaviere “because of alleged acts of misconduct, including violations of a previous Warning Resolution passed by the Board of Education.”

LaRaviere told the Tribune he believed CPS’s action had to do with a meeting he had planned with other principals regarding the privatization of school cleaning staffs.

In August, LaRaviere received a formal warning from the district after he had encouraged parents at his Lake View school to opt-out of standardized testing. The threat of sanction appeared to have little effect. Responding to the warning on his blog, he wrote: “One would think CPS and City Hall would pay more attention to the critiques of a principal whom their own criteria has identified as one of the district’s three most effective school leaders.”

And in his interview with Chicago’s Carol Felsenthal this month, LaRaviere continued his criticism of Mayor Emanuel:

I almost voted for him. Then I became involved with having to implement his policies; saw how reckless they were; how poorly designed; how none of them had any evidence base behind them. All these theories that businessmen pull out of their behinds, one policy after another after another after another. Eventually you see a pattern and you have to speak out, and that’s what I did.

LaRaviere did not immediately respond to requests for comment, but he told the Tribune he would release a statement through his blog.

Update: On Thursday afternoon, LaRaviere told Chicago that following his lawyer’s advice he would not be speaking with the media this week. Meanwhile, presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, for whom LaRaviere had earlier appeared in a campaign ad, released a statement of support: “The only explanation for his removal appears to be Mayor Emanuel’s unhealthy obsession with taking revenge.”

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