Hundreds of students in Boston and Chicago walked out of classes on Friday in protests demanding a switch to remote learning as a surge in Covid-19 cases fueled by the Omicron variant disrupted efforts at returning to in-person education around the United States.
In Chicago, the nation's third-largest school district, the walkout came two days after in-classroom instruction resumed for 340,000 students who were idled during a five-day work stoppage by unionized teachers pressing for tougher Covid-19 safeguards.
Protesting students said they were dissatisfied with the additional health protocols the teachers union agreed to earlier this week, ending its standoff with the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) district and Mayor Lori Lightfoot.
"I think CPS is listening, but I'm not sure they'll make a change," said Jaden Horten, a junior at Jones College Prep High School, during a rally at district headquarters that drew around a thousand students.
The demonstration followed student walkouts at various schools around the city.