Parents, students protest — some back teachers, others demand no strike
BY MAUDLYNE IHEJIRIKA AND STEFANO ESPOSITO Staff Reporters September 8, 2012 1:14AM
Updated: September 9, 2012 11:08AM
Diverse groups of parents and students held several protests against the possible Chicago Teachers Union strike Friday, some standing with teachers, others demanding CTU call it off.
“As much as I respect CPS teachers, a vote to strike at the beginning of the school year, which will adversely affect so many children and all working parents is ill-timed, disruptive to learning, and shows a lack of respect for our communities,” said Norma Cotto, among a busload of parents and students who protested outside CTU’s Merchandise Mart headquarters.
“Summer’s over. Play time’s over. It’s time for both sides to reach shared sacrifice. Get it done!” said the parent of a Schurz High School sophomore.
At Talcott School in West Town, parents and students protested outside in support of their teachers, who had already begun picketing.
“I’m a little concerned because of the kids, but I support the teachers,” said Lorena Leon, parent of two Talcott students. “I understand they’re doing this not only for themselves, but for the students as well.”
Another Talcott parent, Mia Schultz, who has a kindergartner there, said she supports the teachers, although isn’t sure if she supports a strike.
“It’s a shame for the children,” she said. “They’re going to have to start all over again.”
Other parents leafletted Friday in support of teachers, handing out flyers urging parents to put pressure on the mayor and schools chief at sites from City Hall and downtown expressway overpasses, to Roseland.
A group of student athletes from Roberto Clemente High School, who were among those who protested outside CTU offices, said athletes are being dealt a raw hand.
“This strike is going to really make it difficult, especially for us seniors,” said Demetrius Harris, 18, a Clemente football player. “This is my last chance to get seen by recruiters. A scholarship is my only way out, the only way I’ll go to college. I hope they think of us and reach a deal.”