A Chicago Teachers Union leader is facing a wave of backlash after bragging about being on a Caribbean vacation, while at the same time demanding that schools remain closed because it is too dangerous.
Sarah Chambers, a member of the Chicago Teachers Union executive board and area vice president, boasted about a recent vacation to Puerto Rico. Chambers gloated about renting a house on the Caribbean island, and having the pool to herself on New Year’s Eve.
“Spending the last day of 2020 poolside,” Chambers wrote on a since-deleted Instagram post with a photo of her lounging by the pool. “We have the whole pool to ourselves.”
“Then, we are going to old San Juan to get some yummy seafood mofongo! We have an entire private Airbnb house to ourselves,” Chambers stated on her “sarah4justice” Instagram account. “I’m here with my friend who also had covid.”
Another post simply read, “Pool life.”
#CHICAGO: Union area vice president Sarah Chambers has claimed that re-opening Chicago’s public schools next Monday… https://t.co/LBBPRhxyQj
— CaribbeanNewsNetwork (@CaribbeanNewsNetwork)1609587564.0
However, only a few hours before Chambers was sunbathing in a bikini and making plans to get yummy seafood mofongo in Puerto Rico’s capital, she rallied against reopening the schools in Chicago because she deemed it to be too dangerous.
On Thursday, Chambers said that reopening Chicago’s public schools for in-person learning on Monday would result in a widespread coronavirus outbreak and COVID-19 deaths.
“Sign the petition to continue to work remote, to be safe,” Chambers wrote on Twitter before making her social media account private. “The news is in Lori’s pocket like always! We’ve had so many family members die already, even remote. 50% of my staff, working in the building got Covid, imagine how many would die with reopening!”
After the criticism over her hypocrisy, Chambers attempted to defend her sunny vacation.
“I got 4 covid tests (2 rapid, 2 PCR) b4 coming here & wore 2 masks (N95),” she wrote on Twitter. “Scientists said airplanes are safer than grocery stores bc airplanes have ICU level filtration & everyone wears masks. My doc said it’s extremely unlikely for me to get Covid again since I had it so badly.”
She also lashed out on Twitter by saying, “If you haven’t had someone break into your house and try to strangle and assault you in your house or covid 60+ days where you could barely walk or talk this year, then don’t talk to me.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advise Americans not to travel to Puerto Rico, and categorizes the island as having a “very high level of COVID-19” infection.
“Travelers should avoid all travel to Puerto Rico,” the CDC warns. “Travel may increase your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19.”
The Chicago Teachers Union has threatened a possible strike if the schools reopen, according to WGN-TV. The CTU wants to delay in-person learning until all of the teachers get the coronavirus vaccine.
Chambers was reportedly fired in 2017 for “leaving her own classroom to barge into classrooms of other teachers and issue her own instructions to students, interfering with statewide tests, and participating in a scheme to remove and transport students without any chaperone who had cleared criminal background checks.”
She was reinstated in 2019 with the help of the union.
Chambers allegedly traveled to Venezuela as part of a delegation of CTU members in 2019.
“Their goals were to learn what they could from Venezuela’s Bolivarian Revolution, exchange views on effective education and to show solidarity with the students, teachers and social movements of Venezuela,” according to the Post Millennial.
“The teachers’ delegation sat down with Vladimir Castillo, the Venezuelan Director of International Affairs. They learned that Chavez started to talk about socialism in 2005, at the World Social Forum in Brazil, and that a few years after 2007 and 2008, community councils emerged as a result.”
In August, the Chicago Teachers Union struck a nerve with a since-deleted tweet that said the organization was “completely in support” of the construction of a mock guillotine outside of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ home. Coincidentally, the Chicago Teachers Union owns tens of millions in Amazon stock.
CTU board member facing criticism for vacationing in Caribbean while pushing remote learning