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Chicago Teachers Union Asks Their Members To Decide If They Support Return To Remote Learning

 The Chicago Teachers Union is defiantly challenging the Chicago Public Schools, polling its membership to ask them if they would “support a district-wide pause and temporary shift to remote learning.” The same union released a video in January 2021 showing six of their members who were dance teachers performing an interpretative dance to express their feelings about refusing to return to work unless they felt “safe.”

The union posted on its website:

To help get our entire union ready for whatever may unfold in early January, we’re organizing an all-member meeting via Zoom at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 28. At this meeting, we’ll be discussing how each member and every school safety committee can contribute to this escalation in our safety campaign. In preparation for Tuesday’s meeting, we are asking every rank-and-file CTU member to complete a safety survey by Dec. 27, so we know what the greatest needs are in every school and to get a sense of possible actions members are willing to take.

The safety survey reads:

Possible actions for safety 2022:

Cases of the new Omicron variant are spiking in Chicago and around the countryIt is imperative that we return from our winter break with a plan to ensure school communities’ and our own safety. Please answer the following very short survey to help guide the CTU’s response to CPS’s inadequate pandemic response.

If COVID continues to dangerously accelerate or should staffing levels in our schools drop to unsafe levels, would you support a district wide pause and temporary shift to remote learning?

What actions would you participate in to force CPS to improve its COVID safety measures? Check all that apply.

The memo then lists:

Convene a meeting of the school safety committee on 1/3. Flyer parents at your school/workplace in a socially distant, masked manner outdoors or via remote meeting. Participate in an action at your school, e.g. a neighborhood car caravan. Participate in a city-wide action like a car caravan or outside rally. Participate in a city-wide work-stoppage.

In January 2021, the Chicago Teachers’ Union released a video showing six of their members who were dance teachers performing an interpretative dance to express their feelings about refusing to return to work unless they felt “safe.”

The union tweeted the video, titled, “The Moment We’re Safe,” with the caption, “Six of our rank-and-file dance teachers come together to use their art form as a voice to express their desire to feel safe amidst CPS’ teacher return policy. They stand in solidarity with all educators at risk, because no one should have to choose between life and livelihood.”

A voice in the video intoned, “I will survive without you,” followed by another voice intoning, “Make it make sense… Safety is essential… Keep our students and our teachers safe… Safe… It’s our livelihood versus our lives… Safe… In this moment, be safe… Safe… Our children deserve to be safe… We want to be safe… Safe… We want to feel safe… Safe return or no return.”

The Daily Wire reported at the time that the CTU had voted not to return to work, defying an order from the Chicago Public Schools administration:

Chicago’s teacher’s union voted on Sunday to defy Chicago Public Schools administration and refuse to return to in-person teaching even though pupils are due back in classrooms on February 1st.

Chicago Public Schools (CPS) has been locked in a power struggle with the union for some time, with teachers and union brass insisting that it is not safe for teachers to return to classrooms, even though Chicago’s private schools have been in-person for months. At one point, the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) suggested that any plan to return to in-classroom teaching would be both racist and sexist.

As The Daily Wire reported last week, some Chicago students — mostly preschoolers and those students with moderate to severe special needs — returned to empty classrooms, with teachers calling in sick to resist CPS’s demands that they return to classrooms. The union issued a list of demands to CPS instead, pledging to remain in “virtual” classrooms until “all school employees have had the opportunity to get vaccinated, or until the city’s positivity rate falls to 3 percent and its rate of new cases falls below 400 per day.”

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