Toni Larocco

Toni Larocco

“The emotional impact of her not being in school just [five] days has been immense. My sixth-grade daughter cried Thursday and Friday when the schools closed due to the [Chicago Teachers Union-Chicago Public Schools] standoff.”

“She said, ‘Mom, can I just go to another school where they’re in person? Can I just transfer?’”

“That’s heartbreaking coming from an 11-year-old. She’s attended Byrne [Elementary] since kindergarten, and for her to ask if she [can move] is just a testament to her struggle with remote learning for the last year. And I don’t have answers for why she can’t have in-person learning.”

“I told my daughter, it’s not all the teachers that don’t want to work there. I would like to believe at her school that most of the teachers want to be in school teaching.”

“I feel like the unions have no consequences. It seems that whenever they feel like something isn’t going their way, they walk out and leave our kids hanging. My fear is that this is going to continue happening as time goes on.”

“If union leaders feel that their demands aren’t being met, they’ll go on strike. It’s completely ridiculous and childish to play politics with children!”

“We wonder why Illinois is so far behind the learning curve compared to other states. Our children will never get back the time they lost last year, and it’s so sad.”

“In fifth grade we did remote learning and her grades were horrible. Now that she’s been back in school fall semester, she was on the honor roll. That speaks volumes to the importance of in-person learning.”

“When COVID began two years ago, my daughter’s health was more important than her being in school because I was nervous she would come home from school sick. With this new pandemic, that was a risk I wasn’t willing to take.”

“So I decided to do strict remote learning for her for a year and half, but I realized that I did more harm than good to her. She struggled immensely with remote learning. She was not motivated at all to get up, and log on to her computer for seven hours a day.”

“It was a nightmare. It really was a nightmare, and it took a deep social, emotional and mental toll on my daughters and their motivation to learn.”

“I feel like it’s our teachers’ job to take care of our children academically. Leave it up to the parents to keep our children healthy. If my child is sick, I’m keeping my child home because at the end of the day her health is more important to me.”

“At this point, I feel the schools are safe, and we, as parents, are doing everything we can to keep our children healthy. We wear our masks, follow hygiene protocols and she still has not gotten COVID two years into a pandemic. I refuse to live in fear.”

Toni Larocco
Chicago, Illinois

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