We’ve heard teachers, parents, and politicians spoke on the Chicago Teacher’s Union Strike topic but we think it’s time to hear from Chicago kids affected by all this. I invited Kasey, a junior journalist who attends Whitney Young to write a piece about the strike, so check out what she has to say below.
Guest writer: Kasey Carlson, 15
Kasey is a sophomore at Whitney Young and an aspiring journalist. She writes for The Mash, the Chicago Tribune’s teen publication, and has written for websites such as Young Chicagonista in the past. When she’s not writing, she’s hanging out with her friends, studying, and working on her blog on Tumblr.
It’s Monday, and the Chicago Teacher’s Union is coming up on their sixth day of striking. For Chicago Public School students, we are coming up on our sixth day without school, sports, or any idea of what the next day will hold. Every night, teachers, students, and parents are left on the edge of their seats, watching the evening news to see if they will have to wake up the next day and prepare for the first bell to ring. This strike has shaken this city at its roots and is drawing attention from all over the country.
As a student who tries to keep up on news, I’ve been able to keep track of what the strike has been about. At first, pay and the longer school day were the obvious issues. The past couple of days, it has seemed that teacher evaluations were one of the more troublesome topics. To be honest, at this point I am unsure of what is still up in the air for teachers. As a kid who isn’t able to go to school, I’m a little frustrated by this. To not even know what the strike is about anymore, except for a “fair” contract, makes me feel like I’m out of the loop of information. I’m not the only student who feels this way, though. Friends of mine who are the biggest proponents of the teachers, even bigger than I am, are now calling on both sides to call it quits so we can get back to the classroom. It has gone on for too long, and the students are running short on patience.
A lot of people think that a fifteen year old would be using this time off as one big party. I’m not going to lie; I have gone out with friends almost every day we have been off. Some aspects have been fun, but the situation has caused conflict in my family’s everyday life. My mom and dad have to work, so for my younger sister, getting around isn’t an easy option. She’s spent most days working on future projects. As for me, the constant going out can get a little pricy, and my babysitting money is running short. On top of that, every night we come home to do work that is self-guided and that we can’t ask questions on the next day. It’s a cycle that has gotten old quickly, and we’re sick of it.
For CPS students, this strike has lasted a few days too many. We need to be back where we belong, in our classes and in our schools, preparing for the intense school ahead of us. Both sides need to come to a consensus so we can resume our lives again.