A Chicago student's take on the strike | Strike intern

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With Chicago Public Schools students out of the classroom during the strike, we decided to hire a couple of "strike interns" to come to the office, learn about the publishing business, and give us their perspective on the ongoing debate. Here's our first entry from Alexander, an eighth grader at Lane Tech.




Sunday night was a night of suspense for teachers, students and parents all over Chicago, waiting to find out if the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) teachers would strike. At a couple minutes before ten o’clock, Karen Lewis, the President of the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) announced that there would be a strike.


Soon enough, I went to check my class web sites. When I went to the chemistry page, I instantly noticed how much it had been updated: Homework for the next two to three weeks had been posted. The one problem, all the homework was out of the Chemistry textbook, which was sitting in my locker at school. After I checked the rest of the web sites (thankfully nothing else had been posted), I checked Facebook, to see that I wasn’t the only one that had the problem of not having the textbook.


So on that Tuesday morning, I went to school to see if I could get my book. As I  walked in, I had never seen my school so empty and quiet; there were a few kids in the cafeteria, who must have been there for the Children First program, but this school is usually filled with 4,200 kids. Today it seemed as if it was a dead man's land. The hallways were bare of kids, trash, random school supplies. The classrooms were all dark, empty and barren. Anything that resembled any sort of life in these schools wasn't there anymore.


The idea of no school seems good to any kid. I was excited at first, just more time for summer break. It was nice, I could have brunch with my grandparents and I didn’t feel like I had to get back home to finish math homework. I could also hang out with my friends and not worry about school. But after a while the harsh reality set in that any day, this mini-summer break could be over.


After leaving school that first day of the strike, and seeing the empty hallways, I felt sad. I feel like the teachers have a point, if they are going to have to teach a longer school day, then they should get paid more. The city also has their points, and made good offers. My opinion has nothing to do with the politics of the strike, I just wanted school on. Everyone has his or her points, and someone is probably right. I might be the only kid who admits it, but I like school. Everyone who’s in charge keeps saying that the kids should be put first, but I think putting the kids first would be putting the kids in school, and the politics can be set aside.



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