Julie Vassilatos read the report of the University of Chicago Consortium on School Research about the closing of 50 schools in one day in 2013. She knew that there was no academic gain for the children affected.
But there was one measurable result that no one talked about: Sorrow.
“The sorrow of children whose schools were closed.
“It’s measurable. The researchers measured it. They liken the losses that the students–and teachers, staff, and families–experienced, to grief. The technical term for it is “institutional mourning.” Children and staff talked about losing their school “families,” spoke of the forced separations like a divorce, or a death. Generations-long relationships with schools ended abruptly after a pained, humiliating school year of battling to keep them open–schools that served as neighborhood anchors, social roots, home of beloved teachers. Most of the 50 shuttered schools have since stood empty and fallow after the closings, untended…
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