Lake County Gazette

Lake County Gazette

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Chicago Teacher’s Union leader Lewis refuses to stand for national anthem


By Lake County Gazette | Oct 20, 2016


Days after reaching a “tentative contract” with the Chicago Public Schools that averted another threatened teacher’s strike, Chicago Teacher’s Union (CTU) leader Karen Lewis led a personal strike of her own, refusing to honor the United States of America by standing during its national anthem.

Lewis did so Saturday at the 2016 Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT) Convention in Downtown St. Louis. As "The Star-Spangled Banner" played to kick off the day’s events, her fellow union leaders on the dais stood including IFT President Dan Montgomery.

But Lewis, sitting to the left of the speaker’s podium facing the American Flag and a color guard unit, sat in protest.

Lewis earns about $211,000 per year-- $145,918 for her job as CTU President and $67,186 for her role as executive vice president of IFT. She owns a $405,000 home in Chicago as well as vacation homes in Michigan and Hawaii, according to published reports.

The 2016 IFT “Shift into Action” convention concluded Sunday.


The Illinois Federation of Teachers is an affiliate of the Washington, D.C.-based American Federation of Teachers. It is the second-largest teachers union in the state, representing approximately 80,000 teachers and other public school personnel.

The Illinois Education Association is the state’s largest teacher’s union, with 130,000 members.

Initially reported by the Chicago City Wire.

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Organizations in this Story

Illinois Education AssociationChicago Public SchoolsIllinois Federation of Teachers

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