No school in Waukegan Thursday
With less than a week to go before Election Day, Gov. Pat Quinn Wednesday moved to intervene in the nearly monthlong Waukegan teacher strike, telling Illinois State Board of Education Chairman Gery Chico to try to strike a deal.
"Students in Waukegan need to get back to school and we need both sides to work together to get it done now," Quinn said.
But an accord still hadn't been reached as of 8:45 p.m. Wednesday, according to a news release from Waukegan Unit District 60, and there is no school on Thursday.
Quinn's directive came hours after a tumultuous Tuesday night meeting where school board member Victoria Torres told the audience: "Alright, let's go. I'm a parent, too. Yeah, sit down, shut up! Shut up!"
On Wednesday, Torres apologized in a statement released by District 60.
"I sincerely apologize for my actions last night, and can offer no excuse for them. The tensions of the past few weeks, as well as the personal attacks on my character, my family and my actions, have been nearly unbearable. In the chaos of the board meeting, where we couldn't even hear the person next to us, I felt attacked and lost my temper. As a leader, I realize I set a poor example for the students of Waukegan Public Schools, and for the community, and I am truly sorry for how I acted."
Mayor Wayne Motley called the meeting "an embarrassment to the city of Waukegan."
Quinn and Republican businessman Bruce Rauner are fighting for every vote in a tight race for governor. Rauner's campaign didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.
About 17,000 students have been out of school since the strike began Oct. 2.