Day two of the Chicago teacher strike commenced Tuesday, leaving nearly 350,000 students between kindergarten and high school age without schooling for another day, while forcing parents to decide whether to stay home from work, pay for childcare, or leave their children at home to fend for themselves.
Thousands of public-school teachers took to the streets Monday to protest a failed contract that has left union leaders and school district officials in gridlock. Chicago Teachers Union president Karen Lewis said Sunday they had made progress on the contract, but “we have failed to reach an agreement that will prevent a labor strike.”
While the more obvious casualty of the strike is the large number of children not receiving an education, Chicago parents are facing decisions over what to do with their children. While some are taking their kids to work, others are staying home, or leaving their children without any supervision.
Rose Davis, who lives in one of the city’s most violent neighborhoods, wasn’t comfortable with allowing her two young grandchildren to walk to a school that was providing meals and childcare for students in the district. So Davis, who has a severe diabetic condition, walked her grandchildren six blocks to Benjamin E. Mays Elementary Academy, which is about five blocks farther than the school they ordinarily attend. "They had to go out of their home zone, and you never know what gang violence is going on on the other side of the zone," asserted Davis, adding that she would continue to make the trek until the strike ends.
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