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Chicago cancels classes after teachers union backs remote learning

The move comes amid an escalating battle over COVID-19 safety protocols in schools.

CHICAGO — Chicago schools have canceled classes after the teachers union voted to switch to remote learning due to record COVID-19 levels.

The move comes amid an escalating battle over safety protocols in schools. Officials in the nation's third-largest school district said they won't switch back to online instruction districtwide, as it was devastating for children's learning and mental health. But the union said the district's safety protocols are lacking. 

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Classes were canceled Wednesday but school officials said buildings would remain open for administrators and staff and essential services like meals for students. The status of class the rest of the week was unknown. 

School districts nationwide have grappled with the same issues as Chicago, with most opting to stay open.