There have been 107 Chicago kids killed in the last year, according to the Black Star project, including two in just the last couple of weeks (pictured). Check out the list below. Just this past weekend, a seven year old girl shot was outside her home during a drive-by, according to the Sun Times (Ten dead, 41 wounded in weekend shootings).
If Chicago teachers want to protest something and even go out on strike, why can't it be something like the youth violence problem that continues to plague the city? This is something parents and teachers could strike over together, rather than over something that's going to be perceived as focusing on teachers' interests, inconveniencing parents, and interrupting students' learning.
Yes, CTU and others have in the past focused attention on the youth violence issue. Remember the Soldier Field event a year or two ago? But the current focus of the contract negotiations puts teachers first, no matter how it's presented. Working together, parents and teachers are a powerful force.
Some of the things the CTU is pushing for will help students and families eventually, but not in the short run. In the short run, CPS families are 90 percent poor and minority, with a parent unemployment rate that's got to be ashamedly high and an experience of violence that few others can understand.
CPS teachers are overworked and underappreciated, perhaps, but none of them poor or victims of such high rates of violence, and the overwhelming majority of them still employed despite a shrinking enrollment and a massive economic recession.