Chicago Teachers Strike 2012 Hits Latino Communities Hard

Thousands of teachers at Chicago's public schools took part in strike efforts earlier this week, after failing to reach an agreement with the school board over teacher evaluations as well as other issues.

The strike left hundreds of thousands of students without school, with nearly 44 percent of the students being Latinos, according to Fox News Latino.

The situation forced many Latino immigrant parents into choosing between leaving their children home alone, or trying to take days off work to stay back with their kids.

According to school officials, more than 140 schools remained open as contingency locations for parents to drop off their children. Churches also stepped up to help the city's children, and provided childcare centers and several "Safe Haven" sites.

Yaritza and Jasmine Rodríguez were two of the roughly 348,000 CPS students displaced by the strike. Their mom, Patricia Rodríguez, was forced to take them along to work with her.

"I'm lucky that I can take them to work with me because they can sit in the chairs, but I know that families had to leave kids home alone today or stay home and miss work to be with them and that's not fair," said Patricia Rodríguez, according to Fox News Latino.

"The teachers want more and more money and while they fight for that, it's us, the parents, that are spending money today that we don't have either. It's not a big thing today but what about tomorrow and next week if they don't go back?"

Rodríguez expressed anger at the affect the strikes were having on children. "To tell you the truth, I don't really know what the things are that the teachers are asking for right now. But what could be so important that they thought the best decision was to strike?"

Other parents also disapproved of the strike calling it "irresponsibility" of the teachers.

"There was no reason to do this when they just got situated. All the teachers should be let go for their irresponsibility to the children and their families," Rachelle Cirrintano said, according to the Chicago Tribune.