South Side chess team honored at City Hall

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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A South Side chess team whose coach was expelled from the Chicago Teachers Union was honored Wednesday at City Hall.

The City Council honored the Earle STEM Elementary chess team for winning a national championship. Their coach, Joseph Ocol, was thrown out of the CTU for skipping April's "Day of Action" to coach the team.

"I joined CPS purposefully for the kids, not to be a union member. It's good to be a union member, but if you put the kids in the middle I have to make a choice, and the choice is always for the kids," Ocol said.

The CTU says Ocol did not show up at a scheduled hearing to contest the charges. His expulsion from the union does not affect his job or his pay.