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CTU president to students on #NationalSchoolWalkout: I am so proud of you

Karen Lewis: “We fight for our students every day in our school communities. Today, students are standing up with leadership and courage to fight for equity and justice.”

CHICAGO—CTU President Karen Lewis issued the following statement today in support of Chicago public school students participating in #NationalSchoolWalkout actions:

"Chicago public school students stood up today against gun violence and all acts of violence that plague our city: unemployment, racism, mass incarceration and austerity. Literally thousands of our youth live with the trauma of life in a city where housing and food insecurity is just as prevalent as gun violence. These young people understand that, here in Chicago, larger dynamics drive violence: poverty, unemployment, hopelessness and the callous indifference of our mayor – indifference that mars their educations and undermines their futures. They took action with sit-ins and marches today to say ‘enough.’

“We fight for our students every day in our school communities because that’s our responsibility and our commitment to our students as educators. Today, our students are standing up with leadership and courage to fight to bring equity and real justice to our city.”

"As educators and members of school communities, we recognize what these young people understand intimately – that it is only through racial, economic and social justice that we achieve educational justice – the kind of justice that will allow our students to fulfill their potential. Our students took that message to the streets today in what is a growing movement not just against gun violence but against the root causes of violence and despair in cities like Chicago. Our union is honored to embrace and support their struggle.

This January, the Chicago Teachers Union embedded language in its constitution to promote racial, economic and social justice as the path to achieving educational justice – and embraced a commitment to build community and labor coalitions to win those goals.

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The Chicago Teachers Union represents nearly 25,000 teachers and educational support personnel working in schools funded by City of Chicago School District 299, and by extension, the nearly 400,000 students and families they serve. The CTU is an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers and the Illinois Federation of Teachers and is the third-largest teachers local in the United States. For more information, please visit the CTU website at www.ctunet.com.

Chicago Teachers Union