World Socialist Web Site wsws.org 29 Mar, 2021 06:15 am

COVID-19 cases in Chicago and throughout Illinois increase following reopening of schools and businesses

COVID-19 cases in Chicago and throughout Illinois increase following reopening of schools and businesses
Tragically, the increase in infections in Chicago resulted in the death this week of CPS student Zmaya Bell. Bell, an 18-year-old student at Simeon Career Academy, died of COVID-19-related complications on Wednesday, according to her family.

While early reports indicated lower rates of disease in children and younger people, many of those initial studies were conducted during periods when schools were largely shut down for in-person learning.Large majorities of parents, especially working-class parents, in Chicago are opposed to sending their children back to schools for in-person learning while the coronavirus continues to pose a danger.According to attendance figures released last week, just 24 percent of students overall have attended in-person learning at least once.A recent questionnaire sent out by CPS found that only 43 percent of parents indicated an interest in in-person learning in the fourth quarter term, which begins April 19.

Far from trying to educate working class families on the danger of sending their children back, the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) has largely embraced the perspective of parent choice in regard to in-person learning, with President Jesse Sharkey recently declaring, “I don’t feel like that’s a decision we can make for our students and families.Despite the spread of the disease and the danger posed by new coronavirus variants, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) officials have continued their push to get more students and educators back into classrooms for the start of the fourth quarter term on April 19.

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