“A lot of parents feel at this point like their children are being used as pawns in a political scheme,” Chicago Public Schools parent Ammie Kessem said on Fox News Channel on Monday.
She’s right. And her feelings are echoed by other parents across the city.
“My children attend public school. I should not have to get a lawyer for them to attend school,” said another Chicago Public School parent, Laurel Golden. “…What we’re asking of the union is nothing out of the ordinary. Kids in Catholic schools throughout Chicago and other private schools in the area… they’re in school all day everyday.”
On Wednesday, Feb. 10, the Chicago Teachers Union announced that it had ratified a “deal” with the Chicago Public Schools to slowly reopen preK-8 in-person learning. For the first time in almost a year, Chicago students will be able to return to the classroom.
Over the last few weeks, parents have been on an emotional roller coaster as the Chicago Teachers Union threatened an illegal strike in order to keep kids out of school.
That’s when the Liberty Justice Center stepped in, representing parents and threatening to sue the union if it followed through on its pledge of an illegal strike. We were successful. The teachers’ union finally agreed to return to the building, albeit slowly, and for many families life will soon look a little bit more normal. But it should never have come to this. Parents shouldn’t have to threaten to sue the teachers union at their school for holding their children’s education hostage.
This isn’t just a Chicago problem.
Fairfax, VA parents shouldn’t have to send their teachers union a warning letter to prevent them from using their children as political pawns.
And West Ada, Idaho parents shouldn’t have needed a court order filed on their behalf to stop their public school teachers from performing illegal “sick-outs.”
This is what happens when teachers unions use our children as leverage for political power. Our kids become collateral damage.
Sadly, we’re seeing this same playbook used by teachers unions across the country.
We acted on behalf of the parents and students of Fairfax and West Ada. Chicago parents have the full force of the Liberty Justice Center legal team at their side, pro bono.
The Liberty Justice Center has given parents a powerful voice at a time when elected officials and teachers unions alike refused to listen to the needs of families.
We know we have many fights with teachers unions ahead; we aren’t out of the woods yet when it comes to unions wielding their power against families.
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