LaRaviere is known for his strident opposition to the leadership and education reform policies of Mayor Rahm Emanuel. He was terminated from his position at Blaine Elementary on April 20, 2016 amidst a storm of charges that included insubordination and unspecified ethics offenses. His firing came one month after he appeared criticizing the Mayor in a campaign advertisement [youtube] for Democratic Senator Bernie Sanders.
Burt filed a Freedom of Information Act request on April 26, 2016 but was treated to repeated denials—and later a total lack of communication, a violation of state law—from CPS. Although Burt voluntarily narrowed his request on multiple occasions in response to feedback from CPS, the agency still unformly deemed producing documents related to LaRaviere “unduly burdensome.”
CPS ignored a June 2016 instruction from Illinois Assistant Attorney General S. Piya Mukherjee to update Burt on the status of his request; CPS also ignored Burt's attempts to make contact by phone, email, and letter.
Of his suit, Burt had this to say: “Government agencies stonewall the public because they think they can get away with it. They can't. If CPS is terminating educators because they are critical of the mayor's wasteful and ineffective school privatization agenda, the public has the right to know.”
In May 2016, a month after being fired, former Principal LaRaviere was elected by his peers as President of the Chicago Principals and Administrators Association.
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