By Edward M. Bury, APR (aka The PRDude)
For the record, I am a strong proponent of learning. And, that’s not just because I work at a university and have committed to lifelong learning as a way to maintain my Accredited in Public Relations (APR) credential.
Learning defines a person, shapes an identity, provides purpose to life.
That’s why I’m very disturbed by the planned and reportedly illegal strike tomorrow, April 1, by members of the Chicago Teacher’s Union (CTU).
Yes, the people who are paid through taxpayer funds to educate the children of Chicago are walking off the job on April Fool’s Day. Their goal, I suppose, is to build support for a better contract from a school district that already faces serious financial shortfalls.
But to me and many fellow Chicagoans — including some CTU members — this action is not a joke, practical or otherwise. It’s a travesty.
If you’ve followed Chicago and Illinois news the past few months, frankly the situation here is quite bleak. The state has gone nine months without a budget. The City has been embroiled in cases of alleged police misconduct. Violent crime has spiked to horrific levels. People have lost faith in the leaders elected to lead.
And, around eight hours from now, CTU members will prevent school kids from learning through a day-long protest built around threats to “shut down” the city. The CTU even posted this “schedule of events” page on its website, just in case those of us planning to work tomorrow want to participate.
Hopefully, some learning will take place in Chicago tomorrow. By that I mean that the CTU will learn that walking off the job will not result in anything positive — for the teachers, for Chicago school children and for the taxpayers who fund public education.