Teacher Sarah Chambers said she’s worked with special education students since she was in high school. She has a “handicap” symbol tattooed on her ankle, with a heart.
But Chambers has been a loud critic of standardized testing and has challenged the district’s decision to mix special education funds with regular school budgets. She said her firing will have a ripple effect.
“They’re trying to silence me and also silence all special education teachers who fight for their students,” Chambers said.
Chicago Teachers Union president Karen Lewis said teachers are pressured by principals and the school district to give special education kids fewer services to save money. She said Chambers spoke up, and her firing is retaliation.
The school district said Chambers left her students unattended to visit other classrooms and encouraged kids to opt out of standardized tests — among other charges.