Are teachers and PSRPs going to have to pass a PARCC on transubstantiation?... CPS doubles down on religious discrimination in 'Good Friday' rules...

One week from "Good Friday" and the "Easter Weekend" beginning of Chicago's Spring Break, the CPS administration has come up with guidelines for teachers and other staff who want to take a "religious holiday" day off on the Friday known as "Good Friday" to (Western) Christians. (Eastern Orthodox Christians usually observe "Holy Week" at another time).

Under Catholic rules, when the priest says "This is my body..." transubstantiation takes place...CPS said that teachers can take a religious day, but not PSRPs. Then it said, "OK," but you have to prove you went to -- church?

How precisely?

Not only is CPS discriminating against school clerks and other PSRPs (they couldn't use a "religious day"), but apparently the Board is going to require principals and other department chiefs to give those who do take the day off to pass some kind of religious litmus test in order to get paid for the day (as opposed to having to use their personal business days).

As the Western Christian religious calendar approaches "Palm Sunday" and "Holy Week," CPS has done it again.

"Trust Me, I am Praying..." In one of the most astonishing revelations in the past 40 days and nights, jokes about how CPS administrators measure things have become reality. There have been rumors and scuttlebutt about a directive from CPS administrators that employees would have to "certify" their religious activity on Good Friday, which has been removed as a holiday from the CPS calendar. The fact is that CPS is asking that employees certify their religious activity. Now the question is how to get the Holy Father to sign my note! Amen!

Here is one memo we have received from a reliable source:

Good Morning _____ Teachers and Staff,

Per CPS Clerks website: April 3rd may be used as a religious holiday under Board Rule 4-10. The teacher should certify that they will be engaged in religious observances during school hours in the written request that they make. If you have any questions in regards to the above, please feel free to contact ----- or contact Payroll Services at 773-553-4729 or via e-mail to


March 28, 2015 at 8:43 AM

By: bob busch

Spring break

Somebody at the Board screwed up and decided that for the first time in decades CPS

will be off the week after Easter, not the week before.That was done to eliminate Good Friday as a holiday.If you don't believe me check it out for yourself.Our Cleanup Week

was from the second week of March until the last week in April.

March 29, 2015 at 11:30 AM

By: Denise Racky

Good Friday

Is there a form that God has to sign??

Is it on Google docs???

March 29, 2015 at 11:48 AM

By: Diane Montag

Certification required for Christians to take a religious holiday on Good Friday

Does CPS' required religious observance "certification" extend to members of other faiths, such as Muslims and Jews, or just to Christians?

If this is the case, that only Christians need to certify (attest or confirm in a formal statement) participation in religious activities, isn't CPS violating the civil liberties of Christian teachers?

There is no mention of "certification" when an employee takes a Religious Holiday in Board Rule 4-10.

Can someone please explain whether or not this is legal?

March 29, 2015 at 2:34 PM

By: George N

Palms? Ashes? Do they count as God's signed note...

Let's assume that CPS really doesn't want to discriminate against animists, Muslims, those of the Jewish persuasion, Druids, and garden variety atheists, agnostics, and similar types. Does a Palm Sunday palm count? Or maybe someone who hasn't washed her forehead since Ash Wednesday? Given the way the seven members of the Board of Education roll their eyes heavenward when their critics remind them of their sins, perhaps they have God stashed on one of the upper floors of their Sears Store headquarters. One of the things that happens when Barbara Byrd Bennett hires all those Ohio and Michigan non-entities to run the central office and the "Networks" is that people get even more cluelessly out of touch than Rahm and his billionaire buddies. But it's nice to imagine all those Sweat Lodges for their personal development days. We even hear that Luis Soria and some of the clueless but empowered have ordered Red Suits because they know nobody but their ilk will be "working" that day...

March 29, 2015 at 5:34 PM

By: Diane Montag

Druids et al

Thanks, George, for straightening out all of this "certification" confusion so quickly. This gives me a little more time to locate my First Communion veil.

March 30, 2015 at 12:17 PM

By: Bob Busch

Good Friday and CPS

Like i said earlier -- somebody really goofed. I hope that every Christian forced to work Good Friday follows tradition and engages in prayer during the "cursed hours" of noon until three pm. Those of us who are true Catholics might take that time and hold the Stations of the Cross in the hallway -- voluntary of course, That activity, on the afternoon before spring break, might have a desired effect on the pious mind.

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