Chicago Public Schools have cancelled at least two weeks of in-person classes due to an irreconcilable dispute with the Chicago Teacher’s Union. Teachers will return to remote learning only during this time. Around 340,000 students will be affected by this change. Parents will also be affected for a variety of reasons. The most obvious reason is that most parents have to go to work. They may not be able to supervise their children if they cannot go to school. Then there is the abrupt nature of this decision that came about at 11pm the night before. Parents are left scrambling attempting to make plans to deal with this dramatic change in schedule and routine.
The dispute in question is related to the current status of the virus and teacher safety. At least one teacher’s aide in Chicago passed away from the virus recently. The Teacher’s Union says the most popular variant at the moment has proliferated society too much and they want protection. The protection they are asking for comes in sort of a “list of demands”. They want N95 masks or equivalent provided to every teacher and student who attends in-person classes. They also want daily testing of every student and teacher. Until this demand is met or until the current “outbreak” subsides (whenever that is) they will not come back. The tentative return date is January 18th, in a little under two weeks. That date could be extended if the outbreak does not subside by then.
Parents are furious at this decision for not only the aforementioned reasons but also because of the blatant hypocrisy. One parent spoke to the news media and complained of how many of these teachers are enjoying long vacations in crowded spaces. Some of these teachers have publicly bragged about going on Tinder dates and other “special” get-togethers. Since teachers often share the same communities as parents and children, they are also spotted at the grocery store with the same amount of distance and space that would exist in the classroom. So if the kids are wearing masks and all of the adults are fully vaxxed, then the complaints from the Teacher’s Union seem out of place. Maybe the motive here is not one of safety and it is something else instead.
Chicago Cancels School in Clash With Teachers’ Union – The New York Times
Chicago students miss out on remote and in-person learning after a deadlock between the teachers union and school district – CNN
CTU president: ‘If you want to get us into the schools quicker, provide testing’ – Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Public Schools CANCEL In-Person, Teachers DEMAND Virtual Learning & BETTER Covid Response – YouTube
Chicago Public Schools cancels classes Wednesday with CTU work action vote – Chicago Tribune
Chicago mom talks about vote to resume virtual learning | Morning in America – YouTube