Chicago students walk out of class, demand virtual schooling for two weeks and COVID 'stipends'


Chicago Public Schools students walked out of classes on Friday and made several demands, including a return to remote learning and coronavirus “stipends” for students.

Students from around the CPS system walked out of class at 12:30 p.m. on Friday, with some going to the system’s headquarters in downtown Chicago to voice their demands.

The protest was organized by a group called Chi-RADS, which describes itself as an “organization of allied, radical CPS high schoolers from every corner of the city to organize to create an education system that best serves us.”

On Monday, the group issued their list of 39 demands on Twitter, stating that the CPS “neglects” to address “subpar conditions.”

CHICAGO ‘RADICAL’ STUDENTS PLAN SCHOOL WALKOUT, DEMAND COVID ‘STIPENDS’ AND TWO WEEKS REMOTE LEARNING

Public school students protest outside of the Chicago Public Schools headquarters after walking out of their classrooms on January 14, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Public school students protest outside of the Chicago Public Schools headquarters after walking out of their classrooms on January 14, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
((Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images))

Part of the students’ demands include that all classes shift to a remote format for two weeks while individual schools work on a plan to involve parents, students, parents, teachers, and administrators in their decision-making on coronavirus policies. Once a plan is finalized, the students are demanding that the plan be put up for a vote by the school body.

In one set of demands, the group states that the CPS should “fully” fund public transportation for students, “reload EBT cards,” and provide “covid relief stipends” to students.

(Photographer: Cheney Orr/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

The group posted their chants on Twitter, which include “f–k these racist a– police.”

“hey hey ho ho, lori lightfoot’s got to go,” reads another chant used by the group. “No more oppression, Change is now in session!”

According to Fox 32 Chicago, some students protested near City Hall, in addition to their own schools.

“Many of us are worried about not only our health, but our teacher’s health, our janitor’s health, even our administration’s health,” one student said during the protest.

STUDENTS PLAN WALKOUTS ACROSS THE US, PROTESTING IN-PERSON CLASSES AMID OMICRON

Public school students protest outside of the Chicago Public Schools headquarters after walking out of their classrooms on January 14, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Public school students protest outside of the Chicago Public Schools headquarters after walking out of their classrooms on January 14, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
((Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images))

Students at the protest in downtown Chicago were seen with signs reading “Not another student to COVID,” “The youth are not disposable,” with one reading “You also tested positive for profiting off putting teachers & students in unsafe conditions.”

A spokesperson for the CPS told Fox News Digital that the district feels it’s important for students to participate in civic action.

“Chicago Public Schools (CPS) remains committed to fostering learning environments that allow students to respectfully deliberate issues with evidence and an open mind – and safely participate in civic action,” the spokesperson said. “It is appropriate in classes or special school events to create an environment where students of all viewpoints feel that they can express themselves in a safe and respectful environment.”

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - JANUARY 14: Public school students protest outside of the Chicago Public Schools headquarters after walking out of their classrooms on January 14, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. The students walked out of class to demand a voice in the ongoing battle between the school district and the teacher's union over COVID-19 safety measures. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – JANUARY 14: Public school students protest outside of the Chicago Public Schools headquarters after walking out of their classrooms on January 14, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. The students walked out of class to demand a voice in the ongoing battle between the school district and the teacher’s union over COVID-19 safety measures. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
((Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images))

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The demands made by the group of students comes after the CPS came to an agreement with the Chicago Teachers Union on a resumption of in-person learning.

“After a productive day at the bargaining table, I am pleased to report, CTU will end their work stoppage,” Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot tweeted on Sunday night. “CPS [Chicago Public Schools] put a great proposal on the table that both bargaining teams discussed in detail today.”

On Monday, students in New York City also staged a walk out, with students at Brooklyn Technical High School leaving in the middle of the day, protesting an apparent lack of testing for those at the school and in-person learning.

Fox News’ Audrey Conklin contributed to this report



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