The radical Chicago Teacher’s Union is defying the school board that has ordered teachers to return to in-person instruction. But the teachers claim the schools aren’t safe to work in, and on Sunday, they voted overwhelmingly to continue to teach remotely.
This isn’t sitting well with many parents — especially minority parents — in the 355,000-student school district. They aren’t stupid. They know their kids are falling farther and farther behind white suburban kids because there just isn’t any substitute for in-person learning.
But the teachers are resisting because the plans and procedures to keep teachers safe — the same plans and procedures that are being used in many other school districts across the nation that have already opened — aren’t good enough.
The teachers want “minimal risk” of getting sick and they want to wait until the vaccine becomes more widely available.
“We are not negotiating class size, benefits or staffing; we are bargaining for minimal risk of COVID-19 infection, and minimal risk of death,” the union said.
Fewer than half of teachers in the nation’s third-largest school district showed up when they were ordered to return to school early this month, citing high community transmission and unsafe working conditions.
Some, in protest, taught remotely outside on school grounds despite freezing temperatures.
Maybe they each want their own personal crossing guard to make sure they get across the street with “minimal risk.”
Meanwhile, the school board is at its wit’s end in dealing with these crazies.
Janice Jackson, CEO of the Chicago Public Schools, said at a news conference Jan. 5, “We cannot sit back and allow this generation to falter because of made-up reasons around why we can’t do reopening.”
The school system has asserted that it is following medical data and recommendations from the state Public Health Department, and it has said tens of thousands of city’s 360,000 students want to be back in the classroom.
The union is in control of the schools. Parents have little say in how the schools are run, students are props in the union’s political theater, and the school board grovels before them. “Learning” has become secondary to achieving “social justice” for all.
Joe Biden put his two cents into the fight by siding with the teachers. “The teachers, I know they want to work,” Biden said when asked about the CTU by a reporter at a news conference after an event on American manufacturing. “They just want to work in a safe environment, and as safe as we can rationally make it, and we can do that.”
The teachers want to wait the school board out by saying they won’t come back to work until there is widespread vaccine availability. But that’s just a cover story. This is a blatant exercise of raw power. One union vice president said, “Not only do we need vaccines, we need sustainable community schools.”
What one has to do with the other is a mystery. But affecting social change has become the primary reason the teacher’s union is in existence. Teaching children has become secondary.