Over 50 Chicago neighborhoods at double digit positivity as educators report unclean buildings, and Black and Brown parents continue to reject in-person learning for their children.

  • 4:00 p.m., TODAY, Jan. 8 — Press conference, Rank and file CTU teachers and support staff. Reporters, please see your email for registration info or email communications@ctulocal1.org

CHICAGO, Jan. 8, 2020—While two-thirds of Black and Brown families continue to oppose returning their children back into unsafe school buildings, CTU rank and file educators are rebutting Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot’s claims this morning that schools are ready to accept students.

Educators will hold a press conference at 4:00 p.m. today via Zoom to lay out serious safety threats to returning students to buildings beginning on January 11. Reporters, please see your email for registration info or email communications@ctulocal1.org.

Thousands of Chicago Public Schools teachers, clinicians and staff who returned to school buildings last Monday found serious safety issues at their schools that put the lie to claims made by Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Chicago Public Schools that all buildings would be ‘safe’ and ‘ready for students’ on Jan. 11. Throughout the week, educators submitted photos, video and detailed reports of their findings, which included no masks or PPE, empty hand sanitizer dispensers, hallways filled with debris from locker installation and brown water in bathroom sinks.

One school asked workers whose rooms had no portable HEPA filters to sign a release saying they would not hold the school “liable for any health consequence of been [sic] in the building.” Many rooms have no portable HEPA filters, and where they do, they’re not adequate to protect classrooms above 500 feet, while members are working in classrooms at least twice that size.

(Click here for additional photos, videos and reports submitted by CTU members this week.)

Some schools are reporting that no students will return, yet CPS and the mayor insist on forcing every worker back into unsafe buildings, ordering teachers to teach remotely from their classrooms instead of the safety of their homes, even as the virus continues to surge throughout the city.

More Local School Councils are also formally opposing CPS’ reckless reopening plan, including Pulaski and Whittier elementary schools, which notified CPS this week of their opposition to CPS’ unsafe reopening scheme.

The Chicago Teachers Union represents more than 25,000 teachers and educational support personnel working in Chicago Public Schools, and by extension, the nearly 400,000 students and families they serve. The CTU is an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers and the Illinois Federation of Teachers and is the third-largest teachers local in the United States. For more information please visit the CTU website at www.ctulocal1.org.