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CPS Principal Speaks Out Against Emanuel Administration

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Some Chicago Public School principals say they are living in fear of retribution from City Hall for publicly voicing their opinions. NBC 5's Mary Ann Ahern reports.

Some Chicago Public School principals say they are living in fear of retribution from City Hall for publicly voicing their opinions.

Troy Lavariere, principal of the high-performing Blaine Elementary School in Lake View, wrote an editorial in the Chicago Sun-Times Saturday titled "Under Emanuel, Principals Have No Voice."

Lavariere says the Emanuel administration is micro managing their jobs, ignoring their concerns and telling them what to do instead of including them in decision making.

"We all feel empowered to speak our individual truths in terms of what we see as education professionals, what we see works, what we see doesn't," Lavariere said.

Laraviere served in the Navy 25 years ago where his ship was nearly taken over by Libyan war planes.

"There is no way I am going to fly across an ocean to fight for freedom against the likes of a Muammar Gaddafi, and then return to the United States and have to relinquish that freedom to the likes of Rahm Emanuel," Laraviere said.

Clarice Berry, president of the Chicago Principals and Administrators Association, says other principals feel the same way but are afraid to say so.

"They are paralyzed with fear. It's unprecedented, you can't speak, you can't object," Berry said.

CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett called Lavariere's comments "surprising." She told WBEZ radio that "if there is a perception there is a culture of retribution, I don’t where it’s coming from. It’s nothing that I accept.”

Emanuel wasn't taking questions from reporters at a public appearance Tuesday.

The principals also says principals have been told what they can and cannot buy for their schools in next year's budget, and that they aren't allowed to send home a letter to the families of their students unless it is first approved by the press office.

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