High school runners benched by the Chicago teachers’ strike won’t be able to compete in a state-qualifying meet Saturday, an Illinois judge ruled Friday.
Judge Eve M. Reilly issued the order Friday, The Associated Press reported. Her decision came a day after student-athletes from the Jones College Prep cross country team filed a lawsuit seeking an order to allow them to compete in the meet this weekend.
Kevin Sterling, the attorney representing the students, said some of them have crucial college scholarships on the line.
“If they don’t participate in the regional meet, then they don’t go to the sectionals,” Sterling told FOX Business. “And if they don’t participate in the regional meet, for all intents and purposes, the season’s over.”
Sterling said the students had been getting together preparing for the meet despite the school closings. “They’ve practiced every day since the strike began,” Sterling said.
More than 25,000 members of the Chicago Teachers Union have been on strike for more than a week. The union said it wants smaller class sizes, better pay and benefits, more support staff and affordable housing for students and families.
But with the strike stretching on this long, Sterling said student-athletes will miss the opportunity to be seen by college coaches.
“As I argued to the judges,” he said,” if one kid doesn’t get a scholarship and can’t otherwise afford to go to college, how do you measure the cost of a kid not being able to obtain a college education?”