Editor’s note: This post has been updated with a correction to Martin Ritter’s job title.
On Wednesday, Chicago Unheard published an op-ed from former CPS CEO Paul Vallas, which argued passionately in favor of reopening schools as planned by City Hall.
The op-ed elicited this tweet from Martin Ritter, a Chicago Teachers Union staffer, who had just followed us because of our live-tweeting from both the CTU and CPS press conferences on Tuesday:
Chicago Unheard’s editorial decisions will not be influenced by attempts to intimidate and bully us into presenting only the points of view certain powerful readers want to hear.
We chose to run the Vallas op-ed in part because our editor, Maureen Kelleher, has been quietly receiving messages from parents who support CTU generally but question whether continuing to remain only remote is the best solution for children.
It is precisely because parents have been so intimidated by CTU that they will not speak out for themselves that we published the Vallas piece, which articulated their point of view.
And, predictably, it drew fire and attempts to silence us from CTU leadership. This blog will not be silenced by anyone, whether from CPS, CTU or another powerful faction.
Most folks in Chicago know that Maureen herself has close personal friends among CTU’s rank and file and is on generally friendly terms with some very outspoken CTU leaders and supporters. Her personal relationships will also not determine the editorial decisions made by Chicago Unheard.
Chicago Unheard will continue to provide a microphone for parents, students and community leaders with views from all quarters. Our goal is to foster discussion, dialogue and debate that leads to real solutions for CPS students. That’s why the most important post we’ve published so far this week was authored by CTU member and Chicago parent Halle Quezada Rasmussen, who offered concrete alternatives to the current re-opening stalemate.
When parents are afraid to speak, Chicago Unheard will look for champions to present their viewpoints. If you are a parent or student in CPS, we welcome your voice, your perspective and your ideas, no matter where you stand on an issue. We have your back, and we don’t protect the powerful.