Thousands of Students Plan School Walkouts Across the U.S. in Protest of in-Person Learning

Boy walking down a school hallway

Students across the U.S. are planning school walkouts in protest of in-person learning as COVID-19 cases spike amid the rise of the Omicron coronavirus variant.

There are nearly 3,500 schools actively disrupted as of Friday, according to Burbio’s K-12 School Opening Tracker, which tracks school closures for 1,200 districts, including the 200 largest school districts in the nation.

On Tuesday, New York City students staged a walkout in protest of in-person learning over what they said were concerns about testing and safety mitigation measures. NYC Mayor Eric Adams said school was the “safest place” for children during a Friday news conference.

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Senator Blackburn Argues Closed Schools Should Return Federal Funding

Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) called on schools, who opt to return to remote learning during the school year, to give back federal funding.

In an appearance on Fox Business Network’s Kudlow, the Tennessee senator explained the lack of funding would serve as an accountability measure.

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Chicago Public Schools Forced to Cancel School After Teachers Union Votes to Move to Remote Learning

The Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) voted Tuesday to move to remote learning Wednesday, citing concerns over safety amid the rise in COVID-19 cases, the union said in a press release.

The CTU’s elected House of Delegates voted in favor (88%) of a resolution to return to remote education amid the surge of COVID-19 cases and the rise of the Omicron coronavirus variant, citing a lack of safety guarantees, a union press release said. In the membership-wide vote, 73% of CTU’s members voted in favor of virtual learning, passing the two-thirds threshold required to enact the resolution.

The resolution outlines plans to work remotely until Jan. 18 or until the current COVID-19 wave falls below last year’s threshold for school closures, according to the resolution.

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Chicago Teachers Union Plans to Use ‘Delta Variant’ as Excuse to Shut Down Schools Again

Chicago Teachers’ Union protesting

The Chicago Teachers’ Union (CTU) declared its belief that schools should be shut down again if the India Variant of the coronavirus, also known as the “Delta variant,” continues to spread, as reported by the Daily Caller.

In a letter published on Thursday addressed to Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D-Ill.), the union demanded that the mayor “acknowledge the changing dynamics of the COVID-19 virus” and make further bargains with the CTU regarding conditions for possibly returning to school.

“Parents are concerned,” the letter states in part, “and they deserve assurances that our union and the [Chicago Public Schools] team are working…to ensure safety in hundreds of school buildings across the city.” In fact, many parents have been critical of CTU and other teachers’ unions across the country, which have sought to extend school shutdowns for as long as possible for the teachers’ pleasure, often including absurd and unreasonable conditions in their requirements for returning to in-person instruction.

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All Three of the Nation’s Largest School District Heads Have Resigned

Empty Classroom

Within a roughly two-month period, the heads of the three largest public school districts in the country have all resigned, as reported by Breitbart.

The most recent resignation comes from Chicago, where the CEO of Chicago Public Schools (CPS), Janice Jackson, announced her resignation on Monday. After serving for nearly three years in the position, Jackson declared that it was time to “pass the torch to new leadership.” Under Jackson’s command, CPS began clashing with Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D-Ill.) over the issue of whether or not schools should return to in-person learning, with Lightfoot attributing the constant stalemates and delays to the union’s “aspirations,” which she said are more “akin to a political party” than a union.

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