Quantcast

Chicago Cancels Classes After Teachers Union Demands Remote Learning

'We are deeply concerned about this decision but even more concerned about its impact on the health, safety, and well-being of our students and families... '

(Headline USA) Leaders of Chicago Public Schools canceled classes Wednesday after the teachers union voted to switch to remote learning due to the surge in COVID-19 cases, or at least their take on it, conveniently ignoring mounting evidence of the scholastic and social damage being done to children from the absence of in-person learning.

Chicago has rejected a districtwide return to remote instruction, saying it was disastrous for children’s learning and mental health. But the union argued the district’s safety protocols are lacking and both teachers and students are vulnerable.

The Chicago Teachers Union’s action, approved by 73% of members, called for remote instruction until “cases substantially subside” or union leaders approve an agreement for safety protocols with the district. In other words, until union bosses get what they want. Union members were instructed to try and log into teaching systems Wednesday, even though the district said there would be no instruction and didn’t distribute devices to students ahead of the union votes, which were announced just before 11 p.m. Tuesday.

“This decision was made with a heavy heart and a singular focus on student and community safety,” the union said in a statement. Because, you know, the teachers union that is refusing to educate kids are all about the kids.

...article continued below
- Advertisement -

However, district officials blamed the union for the late cancellation, saying despite safety measures, including a high teacher vaccination rate, “our teachers are not willing to report to work.”

“We are deeply concerned about this decision but even more concerned about its impact on the health, safety, and well-being of our students and families,” the district said in a statement.

The status of instruction for the rest of the week remained in limbo, while district leaders said a plan to “continue student learning” would come later Wednesday. School officials deemed the union action a “work stoppage” and said those who did not report to schools Wednesday would not be compensated. Last year during a similar debate, the district punished teachers who did not come to schools.

Contentious issues in the roughly 350,000-student district include metrics that would trigger school closures. The district proposed guidelines for individual school closures, saying safety measures like required masks, availability of vaccines and improved ventilation make schools among the safest places for kids to be.

...article continued below
- Advertisement -

But the union has proposed metrics for districtwide closure, citing risks to students and teachers, because the union gets what the union wants, on union terms, as long as weak-willed politicians and bureaucrats continue to fold to union demands.

Students returned to class Monday after a two-week winter break with COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations fueled by the omicron variant at record levels. School districts nationwide have grappled with the same issue, with most opting to stay open.

While the union has characterized their action as a way to get better safety protocols in schools, district leaders called it an “illegal work stoppage.” A fierce battle took place last January over similar issues causing a bumpy start to the district’s return to in-person instruction after first going remote in March 2020.

Schools CEO Pedro Martinez said buildings would remain open for administrators, staff and “essential services,” but not instruction for students in the district that is largely low income and black and Latino. District officials said schools would offer food service from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and COVID-19 testing would continue as scheduled, but afterschool activities would be canceled. The district also provided a list of city sites with available daycare.

In response to union concerns, the district said it has provided 200,000 KN95 masks to teachers, would allow schools to bring back daily health screening questions for students and building visitors that were required last academic year, and would spell out metrics for closing individual schools. For instance, the district said it would switch to remote learning at an elementary school if 50% of its classrooms had more than 50% of its students instructed to isolate or quarantine.

The union, with roughly 25,000 members, had sought the same metrics to close schools from an agreement last year, which expired before the new school year started. That includes a districtwide two-week pause on in-person learning if the citywide COVID-19 test positivity rate increases for seven consecutive days, for instance.

Union leaders said more safety protocols were needed and that the COVID-19 surge was causing staffing shortages. The district said roughly 82% of its roughly 21,600 teachers reported to work Monday, which was lower than usual, but that classes were covered by substitute teachers and other staff.

District officials said student attendance for the week was not yet available.

Roughly 100,000 students and 91% of its more than 47,000 staff in the district are vaccinated, according to the district.

Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press

Copyright 2022. No part of this site may be reproduced in whole or in part in any manner without the permission of the copyright owner. To inquire about licensing content, use the contact form at https://headlineusa.com/advertising.
- Advertisement -

TRENDING NOW

Dunleavy Pledges to Work For Alaskans Despite Leftist Media’s Murkowski Distractions

(Headline USA) Alaska Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy said he doesn't see his acceptance of former President Donald Trump's endorsement as hurting his relationship with...

UPDATE: Manchin Reveals Nick Saban Opposed Ending Filibuster After All

UPDATE (1/21/22, 10:30 am): Sen. Joe Manchin tweeted the full text of the letter from West Virginia graduates including Nick Saban. He revealed...

Following Filibuster Failure, Race-Hustling Leftists Pounce on McConnell ‘Gaffe’

(Mark Pellin, Headline USA) Race-hustling leftists seized on the intentional misinterpretation of a remark by Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to wage a petty and...

Tenn. Republican Introduces Self-Defense Bill In Honor of Kyle Rittenhouse

(Headline USA)  A Tennessee Republican introduced a self-defense bill this week in honor of Kyle Rittenhouse, the 18-year-old who was found not guilty last...

M&M Characters to Become More ‘Inclusive’

(Molly Bruns, Headline USA) Mars Inc. has announced that their M&M's characters are being redesigned to be more "inclusive" and have more "nuanced personalities," proving...

Family of Marine Killed in Afghanistan Sues Alec Baldwin For Defamation

(Headline USA) The sister of a Marine killed during the military withdrawal from Afghanistan filed a defamation lawsuit against Alec Baldwin this week, alleging...

UPenn Teammate Says Transgender Lia Thomas Intentionally Lost Race to Avoid Criticism

(Headline USA) A teammate of transgender swimmer Lia Thomas suggested Thomas intentionally lost a recent race to avoid critcism and make it seem like...

CDC Admits Prior Infection Was Better Than Vaccination Against Delta

(Headline USA) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention admitted this week that prior infection protected people against the Delta variant better than vaccination. New...

Biden’s Executive Orders to Overhaul Policing to Face Instant Lawsuits

(Joshua Paladino, Headline USA) President Joe Biden plans to sign executive orders to reform policing in America after debate and compromise stalled in Congress, but...
- Advertisement -