CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago Public Schools insists its buildings are COVID safe and sanitized, but many teachers aren’t buying it.

Some parents are weighing in. They’re angry their kids’ teachers were locked out of online classes, because they refused to go back inside their schools.

“We do not agree with what is going on,” said CPS parent Araceli Vega. “I believe that the Chicago Board of Education is only seeing our teachers as teachers. They are not seeing them as mothers, as sisters, as daughters. Their lives also have to be safe as soon as they walk into those schools.”

But more teachers and staff are heading back to schools. CPS said around 78% returned this week. More than 17% did not. That number does not count almost 5% who failed health screenings.

A letter was sent to teachers and staff at Lowell School, warning them their classrooms might not have air purifiers. It said in part “by signing this form, you will not hold Lowell School liable for any health consequence of [being] in the building.”

CPS confirmed the letter, but said the school sent it without district approval.

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