CPS employee: It's 'heartless' to force teachers, students back to classrooms amid pandemic

classroom illustration pandemic Coronavirus
Classroom Photo credit Getty Images

The head of Chicago Public Schools says teachers who don’t show up for in-person learning next week will not be paid — a threat one teacher calls “heartless.”

The Chicago Teachers Union made several school employees available to tell their stories to reporters. They explained why they do not want to return to classrooms next week, when some students will be resuming in-person learning.

Shavon Coleman, a pre-K teacher assistant at Lawndale Community Academy, says some of her family members have battled COVID-19, including her 6-year-old nephew.

“I’ve had four other family members since him — two of them, right now — in ICU,” Coleman said.

“And if they don’t think that’s enough of a reason to not open schools, then that’s more than heartless.”

CPS says only about half the number of teachers who were supposed to show up this week actually did.

CPS officials say they have undertaken adequate measures to keep employees and students safe amid the continuing pandemic.