(ZEROHEDGE) – Nearly half of the teachers in the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) district didn’t show up when they were ordered to return for in-person instructions after the winter break, a district official said. Janice Jackson, the CEO of the public school district serving some 340,000 students, said in a Tuesday press conference that a little more than 60 percent of all school-based staff have returned to classrooms as expected. That accounts for about half of teachers and three-quarters of assistant and support staff.

Jackson said the number of employees who didn’t return was “significant, considering the fact that they were pressured” by the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU), which has been urging teachers and staff to stay out of classrooms since the early days of the CCP virus pandemic.

CPS has informed those who were expected to return but didn’t that their absence was not excused, Jackson said, noting that the district has an “absent without leave policy,” through which “individuals who are refusing to report to work and who will be considered absent without leave will face progressive discipline.”

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