Parents can’t trust CPS to open schools safely

Some 70% of CPS parents plan to keep their students home, learning remotely in January, regardless of the district’s promises.

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An empty hallway inside Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior Academy of Social Justice in Englewood, in the fall of 2020.

Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

With all due respect to the doctors who wrote an open letter in the Sun-Times supporting the reopening of Chicago Public Schools in the midst of a raging pandemic [“As medical doctors, we believe reopening Chicago’s schools is essential and safe,” Dec. 29, 2020], CPS parents are not as optimistic as they are about the school district’s ability to keep our children safe.

After years of broken promises, filthy schools, overcrowded classrooms, crumbling buildings, lack of nurses and other basic necessities in our schools, I simply don’t trust CPS to protect my child from contracting COVID-19.

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And I’m not alone. Some 70 % of CPS parents plan to keep their students home, learning remotely in January, regardless of the district’s promises. My son’s school’s Local School Council (of which I am a member) just adopted a resolution opposing the back-to-in person school order.

SEND LETTERS TO: letters@suntimes.com. Please include your neighborhood or hometown and a phone number for verification purposes. Letters should be 350 words or less.

COVID infections and deaths in children may be rare. But the American Academy of Pediatrics just reported that 2 million American children tested positive for COVID in the last month alone. And what about their family members and their teachers? Why does CPS think it’s acceptable to put any of them in harm’s way?

The virus is still raging. The mayor continues to tell Chicagoans to stay at home. And everyone, from Dr. Anthony Fauci to Dr.Allison Arwady, is predicting things will only get worse in the coming weeks. CPS, do the right thing for once. Protect our children and their teachers. Scrap your ridiculous, dangerous plan to reopen school buildings until this deadly virus is under control.

Catherine Henchek
Member of Vaughn Occupational High School LSC and Parents 4 Teachers
Portage Park

McConnell out of touch

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has forgotten, if he ever knew, what it’s like to be hard up for a buck. Two thousand dollars for people who are hurting is not “socialism for the rich.”

Whatever its faults, the Works Progress Administration put millions of Americans to work for modest wages during the Great Depression.We have thousands of roads, bridges and other public structures that are in need of repair.

Tech-savvy folk could be working on solar, hydroelectric and wind sources to provide safe energy supplies and improve our air quality.There doubtlessare other worthwhile projects for people out of work through no fault of their own.

If McConnell balks at what he deems a “handout,” he should rally his Republican cohorts to find meaningful work for the millions of people idled by a pandemic that hisboss in the White House failed to takeseriously.

Dan McGuire, Bensenville

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