Over the weekend, the Chicago Teachers’ Union released a video showing six of their members who are dance teachers performing an interpretative dance to express their feelings about refusing to return to work unless they “feel safe.”
The union tweeted the video, titled, “The Moment We’re Safe,” with the caption, “Six of our rank-and-file dance teachers come together to use their art form as a voice to express their desire to feel safe amidst CPS’ teacher return policy. They stand in solidarity with all educators at risk, because no one should have to choose between life and livelihood.”
A voice in the video intones, “I will survive without you,” followed by another voice intoning, “Make it make sense… Safety is essential… Keep our students and our teachers safe… Safe… It’s our livelihood versus our lives… Safe… In this moment, be safe… Safe… Our children deserve to be safe… We want to be safe… Safe… We want to feel safe… Safe return or no return.”
Six of our rank-and-file dance teachers come together to use their art form as a voice to express their desire to feel safe amidst CPS' teacher return policy. They stand in solidarity with all educators at risk, because no one should have to choose between life and livelihood. pic.twitter.com/gajXH9PReE
— ChicagoTeachersUnion (@CTULocal1) January 23, 2021
The video was roundly mocked:
Is this a parody account?
— Bethany S. Mandel (@bethanyshondark) January 26, 2021
The correct thing to do when you're this useless and in a society affluent and tolerant enough to pay you and give you status in this line of work is shut the hell up and be grateful, not this.
— James Lindsay, king of your mom (@ConceptualJames) January 26, 2021
You guys are doing a great job at showing why school choice is important. Keep up the good work!
The Associated Press shows that K-12 enrollment in public schools has dropped by over half a million students, or 2 percent, since the same time last year.https://t.co/TmkJLi0jAI
— Danny Hudson (@FinEssentials) January 26, 2021
The Daily Wire reported on Sunday that the CTU had voted not to return to work, defying an order from the Chicago Public Schools administration:
Chicago’s teacher’s union voted on Sunday to defy Chicago Public Schools administration and refuse to return to in-person teaching even though pupils are due back in classrooms on February 1st.
Chicago Public Schools (CPS) has been locked in a power struggle with the union for some time, with teachers and union brass insisting that it is not safe for teachers to return to classrooms, even though Chicago’s private schools have been in-person for months. At one point, the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) suggested that any plan to return to in-classroom teaching would be both racist and sexist.
As The Daily Wire reported last week, some Chicago students — mostly preschoolers and those students with moderate to severe special needs — returned to empty classrooms, with teachers calling in sick to resist CPS’s demands that they return to classrooms. The union issued a list of demands to CPS instead, pledging to remain in “virtual” classrooms until “all school employees have had the opportunity to get vaccinated, or until the city’s positivity rate falls to 3 percent and its rate of new cases falls below 400 per day.”
WGN had also reported on Sunday about the confrontation between the union and the school district:
The Chicago Teachers Union said Sunday that its members voted to defy an order to return to the classroom before they are vaccinated against the coronavirus, setting up a showdown with district officials who have said such a move would amount to an illegal strike. The nation’s third-largest school district wanted roughly 10,000 K-8 teachers and other staffers to return to school on Monday to get ready to welcome back roughly 70,000 students for part-time in-school classes starting Feb. 1. No return date has been set for high school students.