CPS Teachers Work Outside Avondale Shops To Protest School Reopening: It's 'Not Just About Us'

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The shopkeeper lends teachers desks and shares their wifi to show support. A teacher said: "Getting (their) support...it makes us feel that we are doing the right thing."

AVONDALE — When Diane Castro, a preschool teacher at Lorca Elementary School, was ordered to return to the classroom earlier this month, she showed up — but only for one day.

Castro said that after seeing the school lacked basic supplies, such as properly installed masks and disinfectants, she returned to distance learning. She said that her parents also shared their concerns with her.

She said, "I saw what I needed to see." "I'm just not safe. I don't think that is the best case. I can't do that to children. This is not the experience they deserve."

Castro is a group of people in the northwest

Protests against the school's reopening plan on Thursday are the latest protests in recent days.

In the 2800 and 2900 blocks of North Milwaukee Avenue, teachers and several shop owners organized the Avondale protest. The shop owner lent the teacher foldable tables and chairs and shared their wifi to show support.

Thursday’s action was a few hours later

The teachers there will refuse to work at the school, but will continue to teach online from Monday. Most ordinary teachers will have to vote to approve the plan for it to take effect. Teachers will vote on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

The "Work from Home" campaign will begin on the first day of kindergarten, when the eighth grade teachers plan to return to the classroom before the students return on February 1.

Union leaders have long believed that it is not safe to reopen schools because the city continues to fight the coronavirus pandemic, while district leader and mayor Lori Lightfoot defended the reopening, saying it It will help disadvantaged families and students who fall behind due to distance learning.

The teachers working on the sidewalk in Avondale on Thursday echoed the concerns raised by other teachers in the past few days. They said that it is not safe to return to the classroom because the city continues to fight the epidemic, and they criticized the area for failing to provide teachers and administrators with the materials they need to protect themselves, students and their families from Viral infection.

But they also said that local shop owners helped them set up desks outside the business, and neighbors gave up hand warmers and breakfast sandwiches while working, which encouraged them.

Rebecca Reddicliffe, who teaches second-year students at Brentano Elementary School, works outside of Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa's office in District 35, 2934 N. Milwaukee Ave.

Reddicliffe stood in front of her temporary desk holding a stuffed animal to keep warm. She said it was “great” to see the community strengthen and express support for this effort that has affected many Chicago families.

She said: “I think many people in our community can see that it’s not time to look back now.” “In order to ensure the safety of our community, we must ensure the safety of the school. We are all connected.”

Down the block, more educators wearing red union teachers work outside other stores.

A special education teacher who did not want to be named was called the store owner’s support "amazing".

She said: "Getting (their) support...it makes us feel that we are doing the right thing."

The teacher said that distance learning “may be really lonely. This is a way for us to return to the community.”

She said: "We want the community to know that this is for them, not just about us."

Castro, a teacher at Lorca Elementary School, said that given that small businesses have been hit hard during the pandemic, it makes sense for small business owners to choose to support teachers.

Sharing their wifi and loan tables is the least they can do to support teachers who are indispensable to the communities they serve.

Castro said: "The fact that they have always stood with us and supported us is incredible. It empowers me, is uplifting, and promotes my determination."


Logan Square, Humboldt Park and Avondale reporter

Mayor Lori Lightfoot said that parents should take their kindergarten from eighth grade back to school starting Tuesday.

The district urged on Monday to open a kindergarten school for eighth graders, but there is still no agreement between the two parties.

But the city’s curfew on non-essential businesses will end and they will be allowed to serve more customers at once.

This group was formed after the removal of Christopher Columbus statues this summer, and there is no public list or advice on how to deal with these artworks.

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