Despite persistent concerns about safety and stability, and only about 25% of new safety agreement landed as delta surges, educators eager to return to school communities to teach honest history.
- 11:00 a.m. Saturday, August 28: Press availability at “Teach Truth” rally with CTU rank and file educators, 1919 Chicago Race Riot Marker (2 blocks north of 31st street beach at the 1919 Race Riot Marker/ Eugene Williams Memorial Marker)
CHICAGO — Lawmakers in at least 28 states are attempting to pass legislation that would force teachers to lie to students about the role of racism, sexism, heterosexism, and oppression throughout U.S. history. That repression has sparked a national response from educators across the nation, and on Saturday, Chicago will join cities and towns across the U.S. to stage solidarity actions opposing legislative attempts to undermine the right to teach truth to students.
CTU members will join members of the Chicago Race Riot of 1919 Commemoration Project (CRR19) in person at 11:00 a.m., TODAY, Saturday, August 28, to show solidarity with educators across the nation taking the pledge to ‘teach truth’. They’ll gather at the Eugene Williams Memorial Marker, which commemorates the 1919 Chicago Race Riot (at 125 Fort Dearborn Dr., two blocks north of the 31st Street beach).
The CTU has fought for honest curricula in Chicago’s public schools, including the use of the ‘Reparations Won’ curriculum on police torture in Chicago, and rank and file educators reject being bullied against teaching the truth about U.S. history. They’ve instead pledged to continue teaching students critical thinking skills that develop problem-solving and collective solutions, and are encouraging fellow educators to sign onto the Pledge to Teach the Truthbeing advanced by the Zinn Education project and its education partners across the nation.
“It’s critical to teach truth at a time when we know inequity continues to plague our Black and brown communities, who have been hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic, in Chicago.” said Simeon high school teacher Ariam Abraham. “The inequities that our Black and Brown communities are facing today — housing crises, education inequity, inequitable access to healthcare, to name a few — are not new problems, but have been exacerbated by the pandemic. Our students have a right to understand the history of our city that has led to these inequitable systems today so that they can work to dismantle these racist policies.”
Educators want CPS to invest some of the $2 billion that CPS has received in federal COVID relief funds on addressing persistent inequities in Chicago’s public schools. But Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has rejected that approach. Lightfoot, for example, refused to fast-track the hiring of at least one nurse and social worker for every school. Instead, 100 schools will have no full-time social worker this fall, and 180 schools will have no full-time nurse, even as schools reopen in the midst of a resurgent pandemic that continues to disproportionately hammer Chicago’s Black and Brown communities, whose students make up 90% of CPS schoolchildren.