Get CPS kids back to class in Chicago
Get CPS kids back to class in Chicago
Thank you, Dr. Jackson - please continue to fight to return our kids to school
As parents of Chicago Public School children, each and every one of us has experienced the impact of COVID-19 not only personally, but through our children. We have lived and breathed their fear, disappointment, anxiety, and depression during this extremely unique and life altering year. The kids are not all right. They will certainly be working through the effects of the last ten months for years to come. This is why we want to express our gratitude and support for the Chicago Public School plan to gradually return to in-person learning. We have watched communities and schools around the country successfully return, and we have faith in the public health guidance and CPS plan to bring our kids back to school and get our communities functioning again.
What is truly sad, although not surprising, is the fear based campaign that the leadership of the Chicago Teachers Union has been spearheading since the summer. We have learned over the past year that the leadership of the CTU has no interest in advocating for the city’s children, yet it is no less disturbing that CTU leadership seems determined to undermine literally any effort put forth by CPS to return to in-person learning, regardless of how well thought out and researched it is. We would like to voice our support for CPS leadership and thank all of the school administrators who are working tirelessly to bring the children back to school safely.
During uncertain times, important decisions need to be made on facts rather than emotions. CPS put together a thoughtful plan, relying on the CDC’s guidance, our local public health officials and our local medical community. There is no evidence to suggest that a gradual return to in-person learning for CPS students will be any different than other cities and school districts who have successfully reintegrated back into school buildings. One Yale study, including 57,000 child care providers across the United States found, “...as long as there are strong on-site measures to prevent infection, providing care for young children doesn’t seem to add to the provider’s risk of getting sick.” This has been further confirmed by many members of the medical community and expert sources, including the World Health Organization. Our public health experts have now had time to study other school success stories and ensure that CPS is well situated to manage an in-person learning experience safely, and make any required adjustments accordingly. CTU does not seem able to back their list of requests up with public health data or science to support their claims that a return to the classroom will result in more community spread.
Anyone who leaves their house takes a risk when it comes to the spread of COVID-19. However, many schools in other states and major cities, suburban school districts, private and parochial schools have been in session since the fall (day care centers since the summer), yet there is no evidence that teachers are more at risk for contracting COVID-19 than anyone else going about their daily lives. The science simply doesn’t support the claims that schools put individuals at risk more than any other environment outside of the home.
We support the CPS plan to return the city’s children to public school, thank the school administrators putting this plan into action, and would like to see the CTU leadership listen to the experts, stop fighting the return to the classroom with baseless information that invokes fear, and help our communities by supporting our children. In a recent Op-Ed in the Sun Times, members of the Chicago Pediatric and Infectious Disease medical community called this an, “epidemic of serious psychological illness that has reached a crisis point.” Our children need to return to school and the stakes are too high to deny them this.
If you are a Chicago parent, sign with us to show support for CPS and get our kids back to school. Please refer to these links for additional data from trusted resources: