New report suggests that a teachers union was caught lying about the death of a parent to aid in their COVID battle with public schools.
The Chicago Teachers’ Union has been under heavy public scrutiny lately. As the public schools in the inner city prepare to end mask mandates on March 14th, the Teachers Union once again strikes back at the public schools in an ongoing COVID safety battle with the union. To make matters worse, the teachers union is now under fire for remarks made by the Chicago City Wire, which alleges that union officials falsely claimed the death of a parent to be linked to COVID-19.
According to the Chicago Teachers Union, parent Denisha Henry passed away after contracting the virus from a student. However, new reports from the Chicago City Wire claim Henry didn’t actually die from COVID-related issues. In fact, the news site claims that the mother actually passed away from alcohol poisoning. To back the story up, the City Wire says they received a copy of the mother’s toxicology report from the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office.
As reported by the same news outlet, Denisha Henry passed away last September at the Stroger hospital of chronic “ethanolism”, otherwise known as alcoholism. This new report comes as a big hit to the Chicago Teachers’ Union, who previously reported, along with multiple other news outlets, that Henry had passed from COVID complications. Following the death of both Henry and another parent, Shenitha Curry, the Chicago Teachers’ Union protested the reopening of schools this year and used the two parents’ deaths as a reason for protests.
Using the mothers’ deaths as a talking piece for the Chicago Teachers’ Union “Speak-Out for Safety” rallies, the Union pushed demands for weekly universal testing, contact tracing turnaround periods no more than 24 hours, school-based vaccination clinics, and more adequate staffing at the beginning of the school year. The protests came within weeks of both Henry and Curry’s deaths. It is also worth noting that The Chicago City Wire remarked that the teachers union’s motives were aimed at closing the schools down. However, in accordance with the union’s memorandum notes, the union asked CPS to underline a “basic metric” to determine when the schools might need to close for an abundance of COVID cases.
An unidentified school source told the Chicago City Wire that the leadership at the school Henry’s child attended knew of the misinformation reported on her death this past October. Another parent, who also asked to remain anonymous out of fear of retribution told the news outlet that the Chicago Teachers’ Union should be “ashamed” for misstating the mothers’ cause of death. The anonymous parent said, “My God, the burden they placed on those young children who lost their mothers. Telling them basically, you killed your mothers by going to school. Shame on them! This proves they’ll stop at nothing to get what they want.”
While no other news outlets seem to be reporting on this alleged misinformation, many local news channels did report the death last fall. CBS 2 Chicago was just one of the many local stations that reported the death as being COVID-related. Furthermore, NBC Chicago released reports on Henry’s death that completely negates Chicago City Wire’s newest report. According to NBC, the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office confirmed the death as being caused by pneumonia related to Henry’s contraction of COVID-19. Without any official word from the Medical Examiners Office, the true cause of Denisha Henry, along with the reports concluding the teachers’ union wrongful reports remains unclear until further review.