Teacher unions issue guidelines and support for Wednesday's national student walkouts...

Students' signs tell the stories of the reasons for the March 14 protests. The Chicago Teachers Union and the American Federation of Teachers have issued guidelines so that union members can be in support of students walking out of schools across the United States against gun violence on March 14, 2018, this Wednesday. The CTU press release issued on March 11, 2018 is bere:

March 14 student walk-outs against violence...Honoring our students' voices and rights

Planned student walk-outs against violence on March 14 and April 20

CPS students are planning walk-outs and other actions at a number of schools on March 14 - the one-month anniversary of the horrific mass shooting that took the lives of 17 high school students and teachers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL. Those actions are part of a national school walkout marking one month since the worst school massacre in U.S. history, with another national day of action planned for April 20.

The AFT has released "GUIDANCE ON EDUCATOR SUPPORT FOR STUDENT PROTESTS", and CPS has released "Responding to Parkland: A Guide to Support Student Engagement." Plan accordingly, using the AFT and CPS guidelines as tools that outline allowed versus unallowed CTU member participation in school communities, and contact your CTU field representative in the wake of any issues or problems.

Nationally, March 14 is being framed as a call for tighter gun laws. In Chicago, more than 1,800 children under the age of 17 have been shot in the last five years, leaving at least 140 children dead. These largely unheralded victims are the casualties of both individual crimes and larger public policies that undermine children’s safety and thwart their futures.

Many CPS students are taking action to address racist policies that cause violence and economic instability In their neighborhoods. On March 14 and April 20, student leaders in a number of schools will target mayoral policies that exacerbate violence and harm children, from deep budget cuts at their schools and Rahm Emanuel’s closure of NTA and Englewood's high schools to the police killing of teenager Laquan McDonald.

The CTU encourages our members and supporters to show solidarity with our students and challenge the physical and economic violence they endure daily. We encourage signs and messages that demand an end to school closings and support an elected representative school board, affordable housing and TIF funds for sustainable community schools.

We can't adequately honor the victims at Douglas high school without also recognizing and combatting the daily assault on the lives and futures of our students. Our students are this city’s future. They have a right to make their voices heard - a right the CTU embraces and supports.


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