CHICAGO – It’s been over 24 hours since WGN Investigates asked the Chicago Teachers Union for comment about one of their leaders traveling to the Caribbean, while at the same time telling teachers its unsafe to return to the classroom.
The union so far has not replied for request to comment.
Sarah Chambers is on the Chicago Teachers Union Executive Board an is also an area vice president.
She’s no stranger to controversy.
Chambers rallied support when the district moved to fire her for what officials called “misconduct.” She said she was fighting for her Special Ed students.
In recent months, she’s used her union pulpit to push teachers to refuse to return to the classroom saying it’s not safe.
On Twitter yesterday she told pre-k and Special Ed teachers to sign a petition pledging to refuse the district’s demand they return to school buildings Monday.
But her Instagram told a different story: She was poolside in Puerto Rico, on vacation, while the union she helps lead fights to stay home for safety.
The social media backlash has been brutal, with some who identify themselves as Chicago teachers saying the Puerto Rican pool pics from a union leader undermine legitimate concerns about the safety of returning to the classroom.
For her part: Chambers said she had a bad bout of coronavirus earlier this year, took several tests, wore a mask and received a doctor’s blessing to take the vacation. She also said she was staying at a private rental and only left to get groceries.
Part of that claim seems to be at odds with social media posts, including one that talked of heading to Old San Juan for seafood.
Regardless, it’s the latest chapter in the bitter battle over the best way to get kids back to school. With the union suggesting teachers may strike in order to stay home.
The story isn’t meant to shame a teacher for traveling, instead WGN Investigates is pointing out a discrepency between a union leader’s words and her actions.
Chambers has not responded to our requests for comment and she has since removed the photos from social media.