Chicago Public Schools

Paralyzed CPS Clerk Pleads to Keep Job, Says Position Won't Be Funded Next School Year

The Chicago Teachers Union started a petition to keep Judy Mahoney at Byrne Elementary School

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A longtime Chicago Public Schools clerk has launched a fight to keep her job at a Southwest Side elementary school after she said the district informed her the position won't be funded next school year.

In 2017, Judy Mahoney was left paralyzed from the waist down after being hit head-on by a drunk driver.

"The doctor told me I had severed my spinal chord, that I would never walk again," she said.

Something that didn't change, Mahoney said, is her passion for her job.

"It is my livelihood, it is my purpose," she said.

Following the crash, CPS transferred Mahoney to a wheelchair accessible school, Michael M. Byrne Elementary in Garfield Ridge.

"I never thought I would struggle this much to keep my job," she said. "I don't want charity...I have been a good employee."

The Chicago Teachers Union started a petition to keep Mahoney at Byrne Elementary. In a statement, CPS said it "remains fully committed to continuing to work with the employee to find a new position at another school that meets her needs."

Mahoney hopes the district will reconsider and leave her at the school that continues to be a big part of her life.

"Please let me stay where I'm working, from my home," she said. "That's all I want. Find me a job or leave me where I'm at."

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