About 118 students participated in Ravenswood schools offering the ‘Children First’ plan for warehousing students during a teacher strike. The schools, six of 144 CPS that remain open during the strike, a part of a $25 million plan drafted by the Chicago Public Schools for a teachers strike.
Amid honking horns, bullhorns, and a picket line, media are reporting some students and parents are taking part. However The Bulldog saw many children outside, joining parents and teachers on the picket line.
At high schools teachers affiliated with sports programs said most teams will rely on team captains to organize practice. However, only Lane soccer and football teams had reportedly organized sufficiently for such practices. Neither the schools nor the union members can organize student workouts during the strike. Athletic equipment is unavailable.
CPS had requested the Illinois High School Association for a waiver to allow students to play sports. However the waiver is not expected to be granted, sources told The Bulldog.
Parents meanwhile, continue to seek alternate child care, with many parents supporting teachers demands at this point.
Union captains at schools in Ravenswood told The Bulldog that the first day was very positive, with no confrontations. Many drivers honked in support of the teachers. Parents and others wore red in support of the union. Red ribbons could be seen around the neighborhood.
- At Courtney School, located across the street from Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s home, teachers were told by police they could not picket the mayor’s home. Teachers from nearby Ravenswood and Lake View said they had either joined the Courtney protesters or would soon.
- CPS Chief Executive Jean-Claude Brizard visited McPherson School this morning, reportedly to encourage staff at the holding school.
- Several schools received backing from other unions. At Bell, Streets and Sanitation workers refused to cross the picket line. At McPherson, Stockton, Amundsen and other schools union captains said they had received contributions of coffee and donuts from fire and police personnel.
- Waveland Bowl is offering free bowling during the strike.
- About 118 students were participating in the Children First plan at the six Ravenswood schools:
- Amundsen- 33
- Lane Tech- 13
- Northside College Prep- 17
- Bell~ 20
- McPherson ~ 20
- Stockton ~35
The Bulldog directed questions about city-wide participation in the Children First plan to CPS, but has not yet heard back from CPS.
For childcare alternatives: Raise Your Hand
For an interactive map of alternatives: http://kalov.net/strike