Chicago Public Schools students planning walkout to protest return to school during COVID surge

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Some Chicago Public Schools students are planning a district-wide walk out on Friday to protest the decision to return to school during this latest COVID-19 surge.

They'll gather outside CPS headquarters to protest the return of in-person learning without their input.

RELATED | Chicago Public Schools reopen Wednesday after reaching deal with CTU

It comes as the mother of a Taft High School student says she is one of many parents to recently complain about the confusion she says erupted as students returned to school Wednesday.

"It was a free for all," CPS parent Mylissa Genero said. "I could have kept my kid home and away from the chaos."

Genaro said her daughter said kids were fighting just before water began gushing out of a boys' bathroom. She shared cellphone video from her daughter showing what appears to be unsupervised students playing in hallways flooded with water.

"There's all these kids, not enough teachers, not enough substitute teachers," Genero said. "They're all going into the gym. How is that preventing the spread?"

RELATED: Why are so many vaccinated people getting COVID-19 lately? | What you need to know

In an email, a CPS spokesperson responded, in part, saying: "A bathroom at Taft Freshman Academy was vandalized...Taft engineers and custodial staff have cleaned the area. The matter is under investigation."

Genaro added that promised weekly testing of her teen - who she says remains unvaccinated because of the girl's history of severe reactions to vaccines - isn't happening.

Genaro said although she understands the district is grappling with a COVID surge, a substitute shortage and staffing issues, CPS needs to get it together.

"So many other school districts are operating and working and kids are in school and there's no problem, so why can't CPS get on the same page?" she asked.

Students said the school day went back to normal after the bathroom incident.
Copyright © 2022 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.