WESTMONT – Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT) President Dan Montgomery issued this statement following the 4th District Appellate Court’s ruling on the motion for a stay.
“The Illinois 4th District Appellate Court’s decision released late last night makes one thing clear: school districts are free to implement their own safety measures around COVID-19. And they should. Since the beginning of this pandemic, we have insisted that proper mitigations are in place to protect students, teachers and staff, and their families. This was to reduce sickness and death and to keep schools open for in-person learning as much as possible. Today’s appellate court ruling does nothing to change that calculus. “We continue to insist that school districts statewide abide by existing collective bargaining agreements that are in place to promote health and safety in schools and to follow our laws around safe schools and workplaces. As cases continue to decline, discussions about removing these mitigations must be based on good public health decisions. Medical science tells us that vaccinations, masking, and proper ventilation have been the best ways to maintain health in schools. Schools have been able to remain open because of the implementation and enforcement of these mitigation strategies designed to protect everyone in school communities, including their families.”