Highland Park High educators (?) go from goofy to laughingstock


Highland Park juniors Lauren Evans and Marguerite Biagi. (Heather Charles, Chicago Tribune / May 11, 2010)

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 reports:

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.


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  • Curious. The school allowed a group of "potentially undocumented" students to leave the country, knowing that they must prove their legal status to regain entry to the US. Yet, they're remiss about allowing them to travel to another state in the union. Yeah, this isn't political at all...

  • All sides in this argument can have their shorts twisted, and all sides may be right in some perspective. If we feel uncomfortable and threatened by illegal immigration we can find plenty of company in the countries of the European Union where the immigrant flood is not Mexican and Catholic but Middle Eastern and Muslim. What to do? A half-century or more ago, a British economist named Barbars Ward predicted the problem we face today. As the Cold War became more intense, she said that it was a side-show. The real problem of the future would not be East-West power politics, but rather North-South problems of population overgrowth, economic maldistribution and social disruption. The North would increasingly have the wealth and would increasingly control population growth. The South (Southern Hemisphere) would be chronically over-populated, economically disadvantaged and socially disrupted. The people of the Southern Hemisphere would address their problems by trying to move North to improve their lives. That's where we are today--and we have no real solutions. We are finding out that solutions will not arise from left-right screaming matches. But, is there today any hope for a political "center" where reasonable solutions may be sought?

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to jimbreeling:

    Reading this 6 years later and it definitely foretells the events of today

  • As an oldleftie,I do understand this problem.Europe is in this situation because they didn't take a stand.We must but thats for anothgert issue.These girls worked hard and deserve their chance.For some sheltered confused liberal, their point of view is the only view.Step aside,this is not your time it's their time.

  • I wonder how many of the illegals living in Highwood and the more heavily populated Waukegan work for the wealthy residents of Highland Park and Lake Forest, at below minimum wage. Perhaps the HP administration is just concerned about protecting the identities of their extremely underpaid hired help.

  • Check out the links below, and you can see why Arizona HAS to do something.

    Video 1 http://www.wsbtv.com/video/23438021/index.html

    Video 2 http://www.wsbtv.com/video/23438712/index.html



    And, I couldn't agree more, waterbill. These girls worked hard to get to a point to be able to play in this tournament. Don't take away THEIR reward to make a statement your Highland Park taxpayers don't agree with.


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