About 80 students at Ames Middle School in Logan Square participated
in a student-led peace assembly yesterday afternoon in order to
promote ways to diffuse violence and empathize with others who may have
stressors in their lives that affect how they behave.
took part in various activities and role-played different
violence-prevention scenarios. At the end of the assembly, students
released white balloons, symbolizing freeing themselves from something
that makes them angry.
“We are letting those things go, so they
don’t control us anymore,” one student said before heading outside to
release his balloon.
In the wake of an announcement
that some 50 schools will be shuttered across the city, approximately 70
protesters visited the homes of three Chicago Board of Education board
members this morning to push back against the actions.
Accusing them of “bullying” parents, students, teachers and the community, members of Action Now, some of which have children and grandchildren enrolled in CPS, left “suspension” notices on the board members lawns.
Illinois’ teen unemployment rate is among the highest in the country and during a panel on Thursday at the Chicago Urban League, local elected officials came face-to-face with Chicago’s unemployed youth.
Chicago Teachers Union members voted overwhelmingly this week to
approve a three-year contract, with the option of a fourth year, that
was hammered out amid a historic seven-day CTU strike. Now comes the
challenge of paying for the deal, which has so far largely played out as
a battle between the union and district on school closings.
Day three of the Chicago Teachers Union strike saw simultaneous rallies Wednesday afternoon at three high schools across the city, which brought out thousands of teachers, parents, and children.
Progress Illinois caught up with teachers at John Marshall Metropolitan High School on the city’s West Side during one of the rallies. There, many teachers continued to hammer on the issues of overcrowded classes and their respective schools' lack of resources, like libraries, nurses and social workers, air conditioning, and computers. Yet, none complained of being paid too little or working too many hours.
“Overcrowding’s number one,” said Tony Heinrichs, a first-grade teacher at Falconer Elementary School. “Thirty-some kids in a classroom, it’s ninety-some degrees in the classroom, there’s not a lot of learning going on.”
Both Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis and Board of Education
President David Vitale said late last night that they were hopeful the
CTU strike would end soon, with classes possibly resuming tomorrow.
With contract negotiations still at an impasse, Chicago public school
teachers hit the picket lines for a second day as local and national
labor union leaders joined in a show of support.
of heading to their respective schools Tuesday morning, many teachers
picketed outside of the schools chosen for Chicago Public Schools' $25
million “Children First” contingency plan.
“If they can
afford the contingency plan, what is the problem with paying the
teachers or providing resources and the things that they need in order
to be effective,” asked Kenge McCall, a third-grade teacher at
Washington Irving Elementary.