CPS parents protest in-person learning as COVID cases rise among kids

CPS families took to the streets on Monday in frustration over schools' COVID plans and policies.

"We are all here to say that CPS can do better, can do much better," said Cortney Ritsema, an organizer of the rally and protest that took place in Logan Square Monday evening.

Ritsema was one of a few dozen people who gathered calling for change.

"Social distancing, responsible mask wearing, that is not happening in our schools," said one CPS student.

Organizers of the protest claim that classrooms are overcrowded and that thousands of kids in schools are being sent home to quarantine.

"They need to offer the remote option for kids who are not vaccinated," said CPS parent Maria Estrada.

Protest organizers also claim that CPS contract tracers are up to a week behind and are not returning parents' calls.

CPS teacher Nora Flanagan wants more contract tracers and testing.

"Midday yesterday, I found out I may have been exposed to a student who tested positive for COVID and that left me scrambling and terrified," said Flanagan.

The group then marched to Mayor Lori Lightfoot's house while making their demands for remote learning clear.

"The first thing we see as a really critical step is to offer the remote learning for the families who do want that and absolutely do not feel comfortable sending their kids in," said Ritsema. "This is a win-win situation because if the students are allowed to stay remote, the schools will be able to social distance better because the classrooms will be less overcrowded."


In response to the protest, a Chicago Public Schools spokesperson released a statement that says in part, "The district’s contract tracing operation is working around the clock to support schools and help families navigate instances of exposure to COVID-19. As part of our processes, we have given principals the authority to flip classes to remote learning while a full case investigation is being completed by the CPS Contact Tracing Team as a measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in a timely manner."

FOX 32 reached out to the mayor's office for comment, but did not receive a response as of Monday evening.