Arizona parent confronts school district, union over illegal teacher “sick out” in Chandler

January 13, 2021

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CHANDLER, Ariz. (January 13, 2021) — A parent of a student in one of Arizona’s largest school districts is placing teachers union and school leaders on notice if teachers repeat an illegal work stoppage that took place in December. As the Chandler Unified School District Board of Education meets again this evening to consider a plan to return to in-person education next week, this parent is demanding that the district and union recognize the previous “sick-out” by teachers was an illegal strike.

In December, hundreds of Chandler Unified teachers called in sick to demand a return to virtual learning. Another sick-out was threatened the first week of January but did not materialize after the Chandler board pushed back the in-person start date.

The parent is represented by attorneys from the Liberty Justice Center, a nonprofit law firm that won a pivotal Supreme Court case against government unions in 2018.

“When hundreds of teachers refuse to report to work by falsely claiming to be sick, that’s an organized sick-out. A sick-out is a form of strike, and a teacher strike is illegal in the State of Arizona,” Liberty Justice Center senior attorney Daniel Suhr said after sending a demand letter addressed to district union, the Chandler Education Association, and administration leaders.

“More and more studies are showing the tremendous drop in academic performance that accompanies forced virtual learning,” Suhr continued. “Our nation’s students need to be in school, not used as pawns in union negotiations. The leaders of this action must not only be called out, but also prevented from repeating their recent illegal strike. It is time for unions and administrators to be held accountable for this and similar efforts across Arizona. Kids have to come first.”

See Liberty Justice Center’s demand letter to the Chandler Unified School District superintendent and Chandler Education Association president:

Demand Letter to Chandler Unified School District and Chandler Education Association, Jan 13, 2021
Press Release, Jan 13, 2021


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