Chicago high school teachers stay home for 2nd day to protest reopening plans, some parents are fed up

(Josh Meister via AP)

Jazz wrote about the ongoing battle between the Chicago Teacher’s Union (CTU) and the city last Friday. High school teachers were scheduled to return to classrooms on April 19th (Monday of next week) but suddenly the CTU was balking again. CTU President Jesse Sharkey said, “We do not yet have an agreement for safe reopening.”

Teachers were supposed to report back to schools Wednesday of this week to get ready for the students who will return Monday, but that has happened. Instead, the union voted for teachers to remain at home until they have an agreement with the city’s school administrators that suits them. WGN 9 notes this is a repeat of what happened the last time teachers were set to return to schools.

Teachers are expected to set up outside Benito Juarez High School Thursday, to teach students remotely. The union put on the same type of protest for TV cameras in the last round of negotiations that nearly ended in a strike…

CPS high school teachers were supposed to report Wednesday, but the union voted to continue teaching remotely until there is a deal — that they say — will make reopening schools safer…

The union suggested only having students back one day a week at the city’s largest schools, but that proposal was turned down by CPS.

This is nearly identical to what CTU did in February. Some of the complaints were different but the refusal to return to prep classrooms while negotiations continued was the same. Some Chicago parents are sick of it.

A group calling itself a coalition of parents from around the city held a protest outside of CTU headquarters Tuesday evening.

“As parents, we are disheartened, seeing the pain that (closed schools) is causing our young adults, who have had the hopes of returning to in person learning threatened again by an overzealous Union, functioning more as a PAC than an advocate for the children they serve. CTU ‘proudly’ displays ‘We will Win!’ on the Facebook page of Jesse Sharkey, a slogan that reflects the union’s determination to win at any cost…particularly that of the children,” the coalition said in a news release.

Bill Choslovsky, a CPS parent and member of Lincoln Park High’s Local School Council, said he’s “sick of” CTU’s tactics.

“So in refusing to reopen high schools, CTU now also claims it represents me and my kids? Please. Enough already. I am sick of CTU claiming it does everything for the kids while throwing so many under the bus,” he said in an email. “If this pandemic has exposed anything, it has exposed that CTU does what is best for CTU, not our kids. If you care about our kids you’ll show up to work Monday, just like teachers around the country have done for months. Do those teachers care less about themselves and the children than CTU does?”

I think Choslovsky nailed it. These teachers continue to drag their heels at the expense of students long past the point where it made any sense to do so. Many teachers around the country have been back in classrooms for months. But the CTU just enjoys throwing its weight around, knowing that the Democrats who run the city won’t do much of anything about it because, come the next election, the union will be a big factor in their campaigns.