The story was a front-page newspaper sensation on September 30, 1927. Chicago school superintendent William McAndrew was on trial.
The Board of Education had hired McAndrew in 1924, telling him to clean up the school system. That he had done. Most of his reforms were applauded. But he'd also antagonized many people in the process.
McAndrew had become an issue in the 1927 mayoral campaign. Ex-mayor Big Bill Thompson was challenging incumbent mayor William E. Dever. Thompson claimed the superintendent was unpatriotic, and had brought foreign influences into the schools.
Thompson beat Dever in the April election. McAndrew had nine months left on his contract. That was too long a wait for Thompson. He began looking for a way to get rid of McAndrew.
In August the Board of Education replaced 288 teacher-clerks with new employees. By now the Board was controlled by Thompson, and McAndrew felt this was an attempt to bring political patronage back into the system. He resisted the order.
So the Board suspended McAndrew. The superintendent was charged with "insubordination."