CHICAGO (CBS) — Whitney Thompson’s son’s elementary school teacher’s assistant called her a nut.

The Chicago mom, dealing with tensions over in-person learning, reached out to CBS 2 after receiving what she calls an alarming text from the teacher’s assistant, who works in her son’s third-grade classroom.

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The mother told CBS 2’s Tara Molina the apology she got isn’t enough. She wants a response from the Chicago Public Schools.

Thompson’s sons go to school at Harold Washington Elementary School, at 9130 S. University Ave. in the Burnside neighborhood.

Thompson said bringing this texting incident to light is the only way to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

“She wants to challenge the system and she is a nuttttt,” the text read – with those 5 T’s in “nut.”

“I’m pretty sure it wasn’t meant for me to see it, because it was about me and my children,” Thompson said.

She told us it was a response to a message she sent about in-person learning next month.

“I had no idea she really felt this way,” Thompson said.

Thompson said the staff member typically communicates with her via text, but tried to deny sending the text message that mocked her.

“I read her aloud the text message and she denied it,” Thompson said. “She didn’t understand, why would I say she sent it?”

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Thompson said the other part of the message that named her sons directly was nasty too.

“Because of you interpret one son as smart, and I’m going to turn him into the other son, what am I going turn him, smarter or dumber?” Thompson said.

Thompson said she didn’t get an apology until she sent the message, and the number it came from, to the school’s principal.

And at this point, she said it’s too little too late.

“It wasn’t genuine at all,” Thompson said.

So, we followed up with CPS, the Chicago Teachers Union, and the school’s principal.

We didn’t hear back from anyone with the school, but a spokesman for CPS assured Molina they’re looking into the incident and it is being handled in
in accordance with district policies:

“Every parent has the right to select in-person or remote learning based on the needs of their individual family and circumstances without judgement. The district is disheartened that anyone working in public education would disrespect a family’s personal decision.”

“I think there needs to be some actions against this teacher,” Thompson said.

As we learn more about how CPS is addressing this incident, we will update this story.

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Tara Molina