No equity for Black and Brown students whose teachers have been locked out of remote teaching, as COVID surfaces in clusters at schools that include McClutchen, Hanson Park, Beard Specialty, serving pre-K and acute medical needs special education students.

  • NOW: Sandoval Elementary teach-out, 5534 S Saint Louis Ave. Onsite Interviews with locked out teachers, b-roll of educators teaching students from outside the school.
  • NOW: Sadlowski Elementary teach-out, 3930 E 105th St. Onsite interviews with locked out teachers, b-roll opportunity. Note that most members are not available for interviews.
  • 4:00 p.m., Uplift High School: Press availability with CTU President Jesse Sharkey

CHICAGO, Jan. 12, 2020—Locked out teachers are standing strong at schools like Sandoval Elementary, where educators who’ve been shut out of teaching their students remotely are supporting their colleagues, who are teaching OUTSIDE the school in solidarity with locked out workers.

Locked out Sandoval educators are available for interviews now and throughout the school day in English and Spanish. The school is at 5534 S. St. Louis in West Lawn — a neighborhood that continues to confront some of the highest COVID rates in the city.

Teachers across Chicago who have refused to return to unsafe buildings and instead continue teaching remotely received notices from CPS Monday evening declaring them “absent without leave” — and without pay — for exercising their right to refuse to work in-person under unsafe conditions.

School communities across the city are mobilizing against Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s dangerous reopening plan, as more schools are reporting COVID cases, quarantines and sickness in the wake of Lightfoot’s forced January 4 reopening. More than two thirds of the District’s overwhelmingly Black and Brown students continue to learn remotely, as a growing number of families reject Lightfoot’s reckless rush to reopen.

CPS routinely denies that COVID cases can be linked to schools. But on Monday alone, CTU officers learned that at Hanson Park, three people now have tested positive for COVID. At McCutcheon, multiple staff are quarantining and at least two have reported symptoms. As of Monday, three CTU members also tested positive for COVID at Beard Elementary, which hosts both pre-K and special needs programs for children with autism and acute medical needs. At least 10 workers are in quarantine. Some of the District’s most vulnerable students began returning to classrooms Monday at Beard.

Teachers at Sadlowski Elementary on the South Side are spending the day teaching students from outside the building at a ‘teach-out’ from 9:00 a.m to 3:00 p.m. Reporters, note that educators are working during these hours, so this is a B-roll opportunity only.

Today is also a national day of action for education equity, with CTU teachers, clinicians and paraprofessionals building solidarity with communities suffering the effects of the pandemic. At Uplift Community High School in Uptown, CTU members will bring and distribute aid in food, PPE and school supplies, starting at 3:30 p.m. at 900 W. Wilson. Uplift is one of Chicago’s five mutual aid sites participating in the National Day of Action.

CTU President Jesse Sharkey will join the effort at Uplift at 4:00 p.m., where he’ll be available for press interviews.

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.