Chicago Teacher’s Union Spurs Last-Minute Cancellation of In-Person Learning

Chicago Teacher's Union Spurs Last-Minute Cancellation of In-Person Learning

( – The country remains bitterly divided over the proper response to the pandemic. Those fissures appear to be widening as the Omicron variant continues driving new infection rates sky-high nationwide. Unfortunately, Chicago school children recently became the latest pawns in that struggle.

On Tuesday, January 4, the Chicago Teachers Union told its members to stay at home after voting to return to online learning. The group cited concerns over the spread of COVID-19 and proper classroom safety protocols as the justification for the vote.

The move prompted Chicago school administration officials to cancel in-person classes on Wednesday and Thursday. School districts had hoped to return pupils to classrooms after the holiday break.

Chicago school officials previously rejected the notion of shuttering schools again. According to them, remote learning creates several alarming problems. For instance, district school leaders say remote learning leads to poor academic performance, increased racial inequalities, and a decline in the mental health of pupils.

School officials and union representatives continued negotiations Wednesday afternoon. However, they were unable to resolve their differences. At this point, it remains anyone’s guess if Chicago schools will remain open or closed to in-person teaching.

What do you think? Was this a wise decision on the part of the teachers union, or do you think the potential damage to children outweighs short-term concerns regarding the spread of COVID-19?

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