Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2017-05-24
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Queer special-ed teacher suspended indefinitely
by Carrie Maxwell, Windy City Times
2017-04-12

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


On April 6, the day of her middle school's GSA dance, openly queer Saucedo Academy special education teacher Sarah Chambers received an email letter from Chicago Public Schools ( CPS ) telling her that she was suspended indefinitely, pending further action.

Speaking with Windy City Times, Chambers said the letter gave no reason for the suspension; however, later that day she said she was informed by Chicago Teachers Union ( CTU ) Vice President Jesse Sharkey of CPS's reason. Chambers explained that Sharkey was contacted by CPS Labor Relations Chief Joe Moriarty, who told him that her suspension was because of reasons related to the Partnership for Assessment for Readiness for College and Careers ( PARCC ) test.

When reached for comment, CPS Chief Officer of Strategic Planning and Communications Emily Bittner said, "Ms. Chambers engaged in misconduct that created cause to move to dismiss her."

Bittner explained that Chambers can present her case against dismissal to an independent Illinois State Board of Education ( ISBE ) hearing officer. She also said teachers must comply with ISBE and CPS board policy.

Chambers claims her suspension is not due to the PARCC test, but instead is a retaliation by CPS because of her CTU executive board leadership role, including being the co-chair of the Special Education Task Force, her advocacy for special education and LGBTQ students and because she has been Saucedo's 8th grade GSA faculty advisor for the past three years.

"I have been teaching at Saucedo since the day after I graduated eight years ago," said Chambers. "I love Saucedo. It is my home. I have taught multiple siblings in special education and I know the parents and the community very well. I'm also one of the only Spanish-speaking special education teachers in the whole school. This is also outrageous because I am a teacher with a distinguished rating and I have never been written up or disciplined in my entire teaching career."

Since creating the GSA, Chambers said that in addition to the successful GSA fundraising dance ( for the entire middle school ) on April 6, the club has gotten almost every classroom to post GLSEN rainbow triangles on their doors that say, "This is a safe and inclusive space for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students and their allies."

Chambers noted they also have a GSA bulletin board in the school. She explained that the funds raised from this year's dance will go to an LGBTQ center in Chicago like they did last year.

"Last spring, we did a fundraiser to buy books with LGBTQ characters for the entire middle school and some K-3rd grade classes," said Chambers. "Our students in the GSA read the books aloud to the K-3rd classrooms."

Chambers explained that without her presence at Saucedo, the GSA could be canceled and if this were to occur every LGBTQ student at the school would be negatively affected. She noted that this is not the first time CPS and Saucedo administrators have gone after the GSA.

"Last month, our previous assistant principal, Nancy Quintana, illegally canceled the GSA until they received parent permission for the students to join the club, even though no other lunchtime clubs have parent permission slips," said Chambers. "Our GSA students and teachers fought back so the club would be reinstated and we won. We've created this beautiful supportive LGBTQ environment at Saucedo and CPS is trying to destroy that by removing me because I am the only openly LGBTQ teacher at the school and the GSA is a safe space for my students. My students always say, 'GSA is a family'."

Chambers said her removal from the school also leaves the majority of eighth-grade students without a special education teacher. According to Chambers, Saucedo has yet to fill two other special education teacher posts.

"Without me there, my special education students will be added to the other students who are not receiving help in their classes," said Chambers. "This could also affect their chances of graduation."

Chambers explained that the CTU has already taken steps to fight her removal from Saucedo.

"If CPS truly cared about LGBTQ and special education students, they would stop this witch hunt and return me to Saucedo immediately," said Chambers.

Chambers' supporters have asked people to sign this petition bit.ly/donotfiresarah and/or write a letter to both Janice Jackson CEDO-Jackson@cps.edu and Arnie Rivera arnie.rivera@afterschoolmatters.org asking that she be reinstated at Saucedo.


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

King to speak atNU on June 16 2017-05-24 - Advocate/sports icon Billie Jean King will deliver this year's commencement address at Northwestern University on Friday, June 16. King was ranked six times ...


Gay News

Entertainment: Mary Lambert, Jussie Smollett, Manning CD, Harry Styles 2017-05-23 - Lesbian "Same Love" singer Mary Lambert has revealed that she was gang-raped as a teen, according to Page Six. In addition to suffering ...


Gay News

Five Worth Finding: Popcornopolis, The Baton Show Lounge and more 2017-05-23 - —Popcornopolis ( Popcornopolis.com ): Garrett is not the only popcorn master, apparently. Popcornopolis has an incredibly tasty line of offerings, including Zebra Chocolate ...


Gay News

Artemis Singers "Family of Friends" concert June 17 2017-05-23 - CHICAGO ─ Artemis Singers www.artemissingers.org, Chicago's lesbian feminist chorus, will celebrate Pride month with a special concert and dance, "Family of Friends," Saturday, ...


Gay News

Kate Clinton to be honored at Levity & Justice June 22 in New York 2017-05-22 - Washington, DC ( April 27, 2017 ) — LPAC, the national grassroots lesbian political action committee supporting pro-LGBTQ and pro-women's equality candidates, is ...


Gay News

Social media campaign launched supporting suspended Saucedo teacher 2017-05-20 - The groundswell of support for suspended Saucedo special education teacher Sarah Chambers has grown both locally and online since the April 18 rally ...


Gay News

Gay teacher fired after being outed by students 2017-05-18 - Democratic candidate for Congress Marie Newman, who will be challenging incumbent U.S. Rep. Daniel Lipinski (D-CHicago) in the 2018 elections, on May 19, ...


Gay News

DNC hires ex-EMILY's List head as first lesbian CEO 2017-05-17 - The Democratic National Committee ( DNC ) has, for the first time ever, hired an out lesbian at its chief executive officer, appointing ...


Gay News

Entertainment: Robin Roberts, Frank Ocean, Jim Parsons, Flash co-star 2017-05-16 - The Human Rights Campaign ( HRC ) announced that award-winning broadcast journalist Robin Roberts of ABC News' Good Morning America will be honored ...


Gay News

IPV study taking place at NU 2017-05-10 - The Institute for Sexual and Gender Minority Health ( ISGMH ) at Northwestern University, in collaboration with the University of Cincinnati, launched a ...


 



Copyright © 2017 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.