The Latest: Judge: Cross country team can’t compete in meet
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Latest on the Chicago teachers’ strike interruption of fall high school sports (all times local):
A Cook County judge has ruled that high school cross-country runners idled by a Chicago teachers’ strike won’t be able to participate in a state-qualifying meet Saturday.
Judge Eve M. Reilly issued her order late Friday, a day after athletes from Jones College Prep filed a lawsuit. It sought to lift an Illinois High School Association prohibition on their participation in sectional competition before the state finals Nov. 9.
The Chicago Sun-Times reports that about 100 students attended the hearing.
Members of the Chicago Teachers Union walked out Oct. 17 but continue negotiating with the nation’s third-largest school district over issues such as class sizes and staffing.
The IHSA won’t allow students not attending class to participate in a state series unless it started before the strike began. The runners argue a qualifying Oct. 16 meet — a day before the walkout — should count as part of the series.
Highly-ranked Simeon Career Academy will be able to play in the state football playoffs if a strike by Chicago school teachers ends by mid-next week.
The Illinois High School Association agreed to waive a rule for Simeon and two other Chicago high schools requiring them to have played eight games this season. One Simeon opponent called off a scheduled game, leaving Simeon at 6-1. It’s ranked third in the state in Class 6A.
But the IHSA refused to grant a waiver to a rule that teams not in school for seven or more days must have three separate days of practice before competing. So, the strike would have to end by Wednesday to give the schools the required practice time before the first round of the state playoffs Nov. 2.
Simeon and other Chicago prep football players rallied outside Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s office Friday morning, calling for an end to the strike.
A strike by Chicago teachers has moved from the picket line to the playing field.
The walkout that began Oct. 17 has blocked many fall-sports teams from post-season play.
Khalyl (kuh-LEEL’) Warren is a senior Simeon Career Academy football player. The team is ranked third in the state but can’t chase a state title. Warren says the state playoffs are a showcase for athletes pursuing a college scholarship.
Ian Bacon is a plaintiff in a lawsuit against the Illinois High School Association for excluding Chicago cross-country runners from the state meet. The Jones College Prep senior says the legal action is to protect future athletes as well as help current ones.
The Chicago Teachers Union says it sympathizes with the athletes. A school district spokesman didn’t respond with comment.