OPINION: You have to have faith, Chicago
By Sean Keenehan
Faced with a teacher’s strike that had over 350,000 (yes, that is correct), Chicago children out of school and a 30 percent homicide increase in 2012, Chicago does not seem like Chicago right now.
At 7 a.m. last Wednesday morning, I was alarmed as I heard the sound of screams, which were mostly loud “woos” in succession with a loud chorus of blowing car horns.
As the voices grew louder, I stepped out of my front door to witness a passing mob of striking Chicago Public School teachers, chanting something along the lines of “Teachers united…”
An hour later, riding on the Blue Line, I saw a man holding a sign that read “Educate or Die!”
What is going on here?
At 10 p.m. Wednesday evening, while watching ABC News, I witnessed a commercial advertisement showcasing the current battle between the Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Teachers Union.
“Chicago teachers are on strike, and kids are the losers. The deal is on the table. All the CTU has to do is reach out and grab it,” the advertisement said.
These words were not just spoken, but they were also written in large text across the screen.
A minute later, I caught another advertisement that stated, “CPS has put out a good offer. The teachers seemed intent on striking from the beginning.”
These advertisements play off as slander advertisements paid for by government politicians.
Is there a local election that I am unaware of?
On another side of this battle are the affected 350,000 Chicago Public School children and their families.
This is where Chicago needs your faith.
Chicago is better than this.
Could this teacher’s strike have been avoided? Yes.
Should it have been avoided? Yes.
Was it avoided? No.
If you are currently a student, be grateful as you listen to your next lecture.
Although the teacher’s strike has ended, in the battle between the CPS and the CTU, one has to hope that education wins in the end. Only then can the child be saved.
Now, what is being done about Chicago’s increasing homicide rate?
Sean Keenehan is the section editor for A&E and Co-Exist. He can be reached at email@example.com.