Lincoln Park High

Students at Chicago high school walk out in protest of administrators' removal, basketball team suspension

Feb. 3, 2020
The school system has removed the principal and assistant principal at Lincoln Park High and has suspended the basketball team for the rest of the season.

After top administrators at Chicago public high school were removed from their positions and the remainder of the school's varsity boys basketball season was suspended amid misconduct allegations, students walked out of class Monday to show support for their administrators.

NBC Chicago reports that students stood outside Lincoln Park High School Monday morning holding signs that read "Let them play" and "hear us roar." Others started a petition asking the school district to reconsider its decision. As of Monday morning, the petition had more than 1,600 signatures.

The Chicago district said last week that it was suspending the basketball team and removing school leaders from their jobs amid allegations of “serious misconduct,” according to a letter sent Jan. 31 to families.

“Due to multiple allegations of serious misconduct involving the athletics program at Lincoln Park High School, the district has removed Interim Principal John Thuet and Assistant Principal Michelle Brumfield from their positions," states the letter from Chicago Public Schools Network Chief Laura LeMone.

"Dean John Johnson and Boys Basketball Coach Donovan Robinson have been reassigned from their duties pending the outcome of these investigations. Unfortunately, due to the severity of the misconduct allegations involving the team, the remainder of the varsity boy’s basketball season has been suspended until further notice.”

Judith Gibbs and Jerryelyn Jones have been appointed as administrators-in-charge, the school district said.

One of the students on the basketball team began the petition effort on

“I’m here to ask you guys that support me and my teammates in this basketball world to help us get through this,” the petition implores. “This is the city playoffs coming up next week Tuesday and our seniors and everybody else that plays on the team is hurting… They already have taken away our coach now they want to take away our season this is not right we have worked so hard to get to the point that we are at today we refuse to let this happen to us.”

The Chicago Tribune reports that parents have expressed frustration with the decision to suspend the team and with the limited information that had been provided to them. Players say they found out by email that their season was suspended.

The boys varsity team was ranked 13th in Illinois as of Friday, with a 19-3 record overall and 8-1 in its 10-team conference. They narrowly won their last game 59-58 and were scheduled for a playoff game Tuesday. State finals are in March.

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