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CTU’s Karen Lewis: I’m not stepping down because of Arne Duncan lisp joke

Chicago Teachers UniPres. Karen GJ Lewis had news conference discuss concerns about comments she made during presentatiteachers conference Seattle last

Chicago Teachers Union Pres. Karen GJ Lewis had a news conference to discuss concerns about comments she made during a presentation at a teachers conference in Seattle last month. | Al Podgorski~Chicago Sun-Times

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Updated: February 16, 2012 8:51AM

The president of the Chicago Teachers Union says she isn’t stepping down over an “inappropriate” joke she made about Education Secretary Arne Duncan.

Karen Lewis said Wednesday that while her remarks were insensitive, they were just 120 seconds of her 35-minute speech at a social justice event in Seattle last month.

Lewis said at the event she could tell Duncan “went to a private school, because if he had gone to a public school, he would have had that lisp fixed.” Her comments were caught on video.

After the video was widely circulated Monday, Lewis called Duncan to apologize. An education department spokesman says Duncan accepted her apology.
Duncan led Chicago’s public schools before becoming education secretary. He has clashed with teachers’ unions over the expansion of non-union charter schools.


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