There was no school in Chicago’s public schools today because, in a cost saving move, the district made all employees, including teachers, take an unpaid day off.
But some parents took their kids to school anyway.
At Sheridan Math and Science Academy in Bridgeport, parents cleaned up the school’s garden.
Vincent Johnson has a son in first grade at the school.
“We’re not picking sides between the CTU or CPS,” Johnson said. “Both have tough choices, but you don’t get to take a day off and I think both of them are doing that right now.”
The union has just called its own day off, a one-day strike next Friday, April 1.
Some students spent this Friday learning about why their teachers are striking. The students attended the Student Empowerment Summit at the Chicago Teachers Union.
The Chicago Student Union, an independent group of activist students, organized the event. The 30 or so mostly high school students who attended the event heard presentations about charter schools, the opt-out movement and school budget issues.
One student, high school junior Jorge Barrios, said he will take the information and use it. The Lindblom student said he plans to spend the next week organizing and informing students in his school.
He said he supports the teachers because he feels like they have always supported him.
“I saw them as more than teachers. They were like my friends and my family. And they kind of helped me develop into the person I am today.
At Prieto Math and Science Academy in Hanson Park, teachers took 7th grade students on a scheduled field trip to the Holocaust Museum. Meanwhile, a group of students from Brighton Park participated in a rally downtown for better school funding.
Becky Vevea and Sarah Karp are education reporters for WBEZ. You can follow them @WBEZeducation.