Some CPS parents urge CTU to allow members to return for in-person learning

Teachers set to receive COVID vaccine in February
CHICAGO (WLS) -- It's been two weeks since some Chicago Public Schools Pre-K and special education students returned to in-person learning. Now, some parents are urging the Chicago Teachers Union to allow their members to come back for elementary students, who have the option of returning for in-person learning on February 1.

"I cannot stress enough, it's time for our children to return or they will continue to fall further behind," said CPS parent Alberto Molina.

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These CPS parents took their pleas directly to CTU headquarters. While it was a small group, the parents said their support is much larger in online groups, where they claim other parents say they are too afraid to voice their opinions publicly.

"Parents should not be vilified or bullied for needing a choice to return to in-person learning," said fellow CPS parent Sarah Sachen.

Sachen has been speaking out since September when she realized e-learning was not working for two of her children. Both are diverse learners and her 5th grader, Justin, said he is ready to return.

"And guess what, I need a break from my mom," Justin laughed. "I just need to get back to school."

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The Chicago Teachers Union House of Delegates passed a resolution allowing all members to only work remotely.

Teachers said a break is needed and kids need to be back in school, but the union does not believe it is safe to return. A majority of CPS parents seem to agree.

According to CPS, only 37% of parents surveyed intend for their kids to return.

Hilesh Patel is not one of them, and he said he supports CTU's efforts to stay remote.

"We are hearing from pre-K teachers who have to clean the bathroom after every student visit and at the same time they are teaching class," Patel said. "Some of them have it to do both in-person learning and remote."

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K-8 teachers are expected to return to school buildings on Monday, however, CTU members are voting on a resolution to stay remote.

CPS is calling the action an illegal strike

While the union has been very vocal about their position, as well as holding almost daily media events, Saturday they would not comment about parents' concerns.
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