The recent events involving the Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Teachers Union(CTU) put some things on my mind as I was left feeling extremely vulnerable within the last 72 hours. The City of Chicago and the CTU announced that they had come to an agreement at 11:55pm last night; 5 minutes before the deadline to avoid a strike. In the event of a strike Chicago Public School teachers would not have gone to work which means students would not have been able to go to school.
This is bothersome on so many levels because for one, Education is one thing that is key to having a prosperous future and therefore should not be looked upon as an option. Secondly, everyone in this country has the right to an education, so having a lapse in what we are owed seems like an infraction upon or rights. However, being faced with the possible scenario of a strike left me wondering where my child would go while I was at work? I found a short list of places that would open their doors to children that attended Chicago Public Schools and, were not able to stay at home due to parent work obligations, but on that list it was only one organization that was properly staffed to work with Special Needs children. The Chicago Park District has a Special Recreation program and staff that work with Special Needs children on a regular basis. However, though I was relieved to know that my son would have a safe place to go; it left me wondering why my options are so few.The parents of the children that are not special needs had several options as to where they could take their children while I only had one.
I am going to make it a point to talk to aldermen and any other necessary city officials to get more resources for special needs families. We should have multiple options as to where we can take our children when they are not in school. Autism, Down Syndrome and other disabilities are not new therefore resources for people touched by them should not be scarce. Please feel free to share your thoughts on this topic.