Chicago Stops Teachers Union From Masking Kids

As the Chicago teachers union raged on, the board votes against them in the mask mandate.

By Jessica Marie Baumgartner | Published

National Teacher Unions Have Lost 200,000 Members

teachers union

The Chicago Teachers Union challenged the new optional mask policy in Chicago Public Schools recently. On Wednesday morning, however, they lost. The Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board voted 3-2 against taking immediate action against optional masking. 

For 2 years now, data has been collected on the effects of masking children and whether or not mask mandates prevented the spread of COVID-19 infections. It was evident by the summer of 2021 that masking school children made little to no difference, and now there is plenty of scientific research proving it. Not only were children never generally at risk of being harmed or killed by the virus, but also masks and policies requiring them have led to developmental delays, an increase in youth suicide attempts, and a lack of proper social communication. Despite all of this, The Chicago Teachers Union is adamant that mandatory mask requirements must remain in place. 

This leads many to question what kind of role teachers unions are truly playing in the educational process. Being that Chicago was one of the first cities to implement a teacher’s union, their history should speak for itself. Strikes and political intervention were not common for decades after the rise of these unions. Then, the 1970s brought nationwide strikes that became common, ending and then re-emerging well into the present-day where teachers are now fighting to force children to wear masks even though it is well known that asymptomatic carriers do not pose a threat to others.   

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Parents and students are currently allowed to choose what is best for them based on the advice of their own personal health care provider. This decision to remain mask-optional, instead of reversing the order in favor of The Chicago Teachers Union, was determined without oral arguments from either side or public comments. It is being speculated that the measure is a move to rebuild trust with families of students after the politicization of COVID protocols, and the involvement of the most powerful teacher’s union in the United States has damaged parent/teacher relations. 

It became a topic of interest for parents and educators when the news broke that the American Federation of Teachers worked to sway public health officials in determining COVID protocols. Many were shocked to learn that any teachers union would be allowed to write specific language for the CDC is that teachers are not medically trained or part of the medical community. This led to a decline in public school enrollment, staffing, and public support for teacher’s unions — especially those that disregard scientific data and press for more masks.

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Chicago Public Schools ended the required mask mandate this past Monday, March 14th. This case was brought up swiftly and holds much political interest. Since The Chicago Teachers Union complaint has been struck down, they are continuing to legally press for a new implementation of mandatory masks, but the next hearing date is set in June. The school year will be ended by that time, and the cold & flu season will be long past, but the new appeal may determine what policies lie ahead for the fall of 2022. This issue will not be entirely resolved until the summer break. For now, the children are allowed to do what is best for them.