It was a shock to wake up this morning and find that the teachers had actually gone on strike. Being the parent of a special needs child, trying to explain to my 8-year-old son that he wouldn't be taking the bus to school, that school would be like a vacation, didn't go over well. My family has the additional stress of my husband having died three years ago, so I'm a single working parent with a contract that has me in New York until Friday.
There's a lot of anger on the part of parents who perceive the strike as a result of politics between the unions and Rahm Emanuel going bad. So a lot of the blame is going to Emanuel and I expect he'll suffer politically as a result. On the other hand, with 20 different modifications made on offers to CTU teachers, you have to wonder who hasn't been creative enough to take an offer and make it stick.
On the ground, parents at my son's school have all banded together to take care of each other's children. I just received a call from another mother offering to take my son bowling today. Other parents have created a Facebook site where we can talk through the specific issues affecting our children and the stress we face as a result.
We have no idea how long the strike will last -- if 1987 is any indication, it could be weeks before the issue is resolved. That means everyone goes into survival mode. Nothing will be as expected. And the rise in violent crime that's hit Chicago recently could also be affected. It's a bit of a bleak outlook today. And a very sad day for our children, who are caught in the middle.
This blog post is part of HuffPost Chicago's "State of CPS" series, which features perspectives from Chicago Public School teachers, students, administrators, staff, parents and others experiencing recent changes to the district firsthand. Interested in sharing your take? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.