Updated at: 06/24/2013 8:35 PM
(AP) CHICAGO - Teachers, parents and students shared hugs and a few tears as an elementary school in Chicago ended the school year for the last time.
Trumbull Elementary School on the city’s North Side was one of 21 public schools to shut their doors on Monday, bringing the total number of schools closing to 49. To say goodbye to their school, Trumbull students sang songs were featured in a farewell slide show during a program for their parents.
Many parents are resigned to the cost-cutting measures, but some Trumbull parents are part of a federal discrimination lawsuit against Chicago Public Schools. A judge will hold a hearing in July to consider their claims that special education students are being discriminated against because they’re not getting access to the best options.
Lucy Riner is not part of the lawsuit but isn’t happy with the school her 4-year-old son Luka has been assigned to in the fall. She’s trying to get him into a different school closer to their home. Luka, who’s developmentally delayed, received special education services at Trumbull.
City officials have said the closings are necessary because of falling school enrollment and to help reduce a hefty deficit. But critics say the closings disproportionately affect minority neighborhoods and will endanger children who may have to cross gang boundaries to get to a new school.
Here’s a gallery of images from Trumbull Elementary School from Martha Irvine.
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)