In trying to explain why they banned the girls' varsity basketball team from playing in Arizona, school officials sent out a letter to parents that only made matters worse. The Tribune report
Highland Park High School officials amid national media scrutiny today released a letter that it sent to parents that states that its decision to cancel a girls' basketball team's trip to Arizona "is not a political statement regarding the State of Arizona's recently enacted legislation regarding immigration."
Having already embarrassed Illinois nationally, school officials made the stink worse by trying to clarify their intentions. Apparently, the school has cancelled its girls basketball trip to Arizona not because the illegal immigration law doesn't "align" with the school's "beliefs and values," as Sue Hebson, assistant superintendent, first explained. Now comes School District 113 Supt. George Fornero, the big tuna himself, to explain that what they're really talking about is the safety of their students. Oh, sure.
Said the school:
We cannot commit at this time to playing at a venue where some of our students' safety or liberty might be placed at risk because of state immigration law.
Since undocumented students may be participating on any of our extracurricular teams, we need to ensure that all of our students can travel safely, especially in the United States.
Here's one more example of how the cliche "place at risk" is so imprecise that we're only left to guess what the speaker is thinking. Does that mean that Highland Park students are "at risk" of being asked for their identification? How does the law threaten the students' safety? Is Fornero suggesting that some of the students are "at risk" of deportation? Would those be any of the students that come from neighboring Highwood, which has a number of Hispanic residents? And if they are here illegally, wouldn't you think that the girl's parents could decide not to send them? Or does Fornero think that the parents have no say in whether or not they go.
And what does "Especially in the United States" mean? Do they think that traveling in the United States is less safe than, say, Mexico? Or maybe the school was talking about the danger of traveling in Arizona because gangs of violent, drug-dealing, illegal immigrants gangs are running amok? Although I doubt that political correctness infecting HPHS would tolerate anything bad being said about illegal immigrants, some of whom are are, indeed, threatening the lawful citizens of Arizona.
Fornero is trying to varnish over the truth that earlier was spoken by his assistant, Sue Hebson. Despite his denials, Hebson's statement that the Arizona anti-illegal immigration law doesn't "align" with the school's "beliefs and values" reveals an arrogant mindset of the type that, for example, tells parents that they have no business monitoring their kids' school reading lists.
The hypocrisy is breathtaking. The school allowed a trip to China, a totalitarian state that is so oppressive that it limits families to having one child. You mean to tell me that forced abortions aligns with HPHS's "beliefs and values?" You mean that children are safer traveling in China than in Arizona?
School officials ought to give up this charade of incredible explanations, before they go from laughingstocks to fools.