CICERO, IL-- After the Cicero District 99 Superintendent Rodolfo Hernandez announced yesterday that teachers will return to in-person instruction two weeks earlier than planned, Rachel Esposito, president of the Cicero Council of the West Suburban Teachers Union (IFT Local 571), made the following statement:
“The safety of every student, teacher, and staff member in our schools must be our district’s top priority. By making a rushed decision to reopen schools on October 19, Mr. Hernandez is jeopardizing the health of everyone in our community. Cicero is predominantly Latino, and our students and their families have already been hit hard by this pandemic, physically, economically, and emotionally. With the positivity rate in our community still in double digits, an early return to in-person instruction is dangerous and unwarranted. Teachers and paraprofessionals want to be back with our students, but we must first address critical safety issues, including inadequate ventilation in many of our school buildings. Until our students and staff can return safely, Superintendent Hernandez should change his unwise decision to reopen schools early and endanger us all.”
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The Cicero Council of the West Suburban Teachers Union, Local 571, represents 1,300 teachers, paraprofessionals, nurses, social workers, and school support staff at every school in District 99. They are affiliated with the Illinois Federation of Teachers.
The Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT) represents 103,000 teachers and paraprofessionals in PreK-12 school districts throughout Illinois, faculty and staff at Illinois’ community colleges and universities, public employees under every statewide elected constitutional officer, and retirees.