CPS teachers hold 'teach-out' at Board of Education president's home in defiance of in-person learning

ByAlexis McAdams via WLS logo
Wednesday, January 13, 2021
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Some CPS teachers again set up their classrooms outside Wednesday, in defiance of the return to in-person learning during the Chicago COVID-19 pandemic.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago Public Schools teachers once again set up their classrooms outside Wednesday morning, this time in the front yard of the president of the Chicago Board of Education.

Teachers set up classrooms in front of Miguel del Valle's home in the city's Belmont Cragin neighborhood, despite frigid temperatures.

The Chicago Teachers Union is holding teach-outs as they face off with the city's school district about the return of in-person learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Ready to teach out in the cold for as long as necessary until we have a plan that is safe for us," said Quetzalli Castro, a seventh-grade teacher for CPS.

RELATED: Teachers to hold 'teach-out' as students return to in-person learning despite continued pushback from CTU

The district and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot have said the schools are safe. CPS said it has added more than $100 million worth of COVID-19 safety upgrades.

This week, the district sent a memo to teachers alerting staff that if they do not show up for class, they will not be paid.

RELATED: Chicago COVID: Stay-at-home advisory extended for city to continue limiting spread of virus

As teachers push back, many say they have been locked out of their online learning portals.

"We now have teachers that have been locked out of their accounts for choosing to stay safe and stay at home, which is also a direct order from the mayor," Castro said.

The CTU said many students opted for online learning, which has been interrupted.

"My students are 4 and 5 years old. They do not know what is going on, what they do know is that their teacher was not there yesterday," CPS teacher Sol Camano said.

Chicago police officers were out monitoring the teachers at del Valle's, as the union plans to continue the pushback until CTU members feel it is safe to return to school.

CPS said 145 teachers are currently away without official leave.