Chicago suburban students back in class despite strike

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Classes have resumed in one Illinois school – without the teachers. Lake Forest High School, a suburb outside of Chicago, opened its doors yesterday morning despite an ongoing teacher strike, WMAQ reported.

The protests began last Wednesday, days after Chicago public school teachers went on strike.

The Lake Forest Community high school district issued a mandatory order to parents last Friday for students to return to school.

“Each day the strike progresses the adverse impact on our students increases. The Board’s primary goal remains the same – to serve our students,” the district stated in the order.

The school is using a temporary staff made up of about 140 substitute teachers, community volunteers and other support. The new staff made it possible for over 1,400 students to return to their classes. In addition to normal courses, the school will have guest speakers lead discussions on criminal justice and emotional well-being. LFHS Principal Jay Hoffman told the Chicago Tribune the plan was developed last week with the help of the community and students.

Lake Forest plans to stay in session through the strike.

In another Board of Education update, the district said it decided to re-open its doors because of the community’s urging. “Our parents expect us to open school,” the statement said.

Today marks the seventh day Chicago teachers have been on strike. Negotiations between Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Teachers Union are still in discussion.