Highland Park school bosses and Chicago public school teachers tell students: Drop dead

Highland Park High School.

Highland Park High School.

As schools start opening in Chicago and elsewhere in conformance with the science and federal guidelines, a few stubborn  people who should know better are holding out: Highland Park District 113 administrators and Chicago Teachers Union members.

It shouldn't have been a surprise that 71 percent of CTU members voted to demand that they get to stay out of school and continue getting paid for teaching remote. I was surprised though, because I had assumed that the CTU leadership was generally more extremist than most members. But three out of four teachers voting against their students' welfare--well, that is astonishing and gut wrenching.

Less noticed, however, is the attack on the 3,500 students who attend Deerfield and Highland Park high schools by their governing board of District 113. There, the school board has refused supplications by an increasing number of parents to open the schools, parents who are beside themselves with worry about the physical and mental health of their children.

The board members cannot be ignorant of the research that shows that children taught remotely are losing ground and that the shutdown is most challenging for the least prepared students. Moreover, this wealthy district has an uncounted number of students and their parents who are looking to enroll in the most respected and prestigious universities, many in the Ivy League. Being kept out of the classroom is a direct affront to these students and their parents.

How can a school board be so insensitive? Who knows? At board meetings,  parents are given a short opportunity  to express their concerns, but receive no response. No dialogue. We've decided what's best for your kids and you can go shove it.

In an email to me, one parent, Suzanne Wahl, said to me:

I am a desperate parent in Highland Park and I need your help!

Our kids are being held hostage by a board with no vested interest in allowing our kids to return to school. D113 is using metrics different from surrounding schools and has NO PLAN to return our children to their only true pathway to learning and development.

Other schools in the same area: D225, New Trier, and even our OWN elementary/Jr. High District 112 are returning soon or are already offering in person learning.

And as I am sure you are aware, D225 returned after a Glenbrook North student tragically committed suicide. Horrific and preventable.
Indeed, in Lake County, in 2020, there were zero (0) Covid Deaths in the 18 and under age bracket.

Conversely, there were 4 suicides--double that of 2019. These numbers are directly from the Lake County coroner.

How many more kids must die before we open D113?

Indeed.

Maybe someone can explain to me why these school officials and teachers are so callous, so self-serving, so deaf to the pleas of the students and their parents. Are they ignorant of the science? Are they so partisan that because former President Trump wanted the schools open that they feel compelled to oppose it? (President Joe Biden now urges schools to open.) Are they so arrogant that they rigidly follow some ridiculous educational dogma in the face of opposing facts right in front of them. Are they so compulsively ideological that they are blind to the reality of the harm they are doing to their students?

It beats me. Whatever the explanation, it's wretched, They should not be allowed anywhere near our children.

For more on this, I highly recommend you read Ted Dabrowski, who writes in Wirepoints: "Officials refuse to open doors at top-spending Deerfield/Highland Park school district as surrounding districts return to in-class learning."

 

Comments

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  • Got to vote these self-serving scumbags out - get new school boards - CTU is a whole different pack of greedy hyenas, can't do much about them except perhaps elect a mayor who puts citizens ahead of herself and doesn't role over like a puppy for the CTU tyranny

  • In reply to Archangel999:

    agree

  • In reply to Archangel999:

    The situation with the pandemic is very sad and, as time shows, it is not clear when it will all end and I also do not want to live on the Internet and study remotely, since live communication is very important for me, especially for the assimilation of educational material. I recently wrote an essay using a good resource https://eduzaurus.com/free-essay-samples/othello/ on Othello's work and compared the covid to the Othello who chokes Dedemona. I hope that soon the covid will stop choking us and we will be able to live freely

  • Agree. The school board has an election in 3 short months. This parent who wrote to Dennis seems to be confused. Why isn't she writing letters to members of the School Board. Isn't that how it works? The people who want to get re-elected will listen. The members of the Board are surely doing what they think will keep them in power and that likely means listening to the majority of voters in their District.

    Regarding the Board thinking that they have decided what is best for the students... Well, that's how it works. The people who want to decide what's best for students, they run for the school board. They get to decide. There will be another election in April of this year. I would think that activist parents would have an easy route of getting the board to behave the way they want. Unless, of course, it turns out that this one parent who wrote Dennis a letter really holds a minority opinion. That parent is unlikely to admit their status of a 'minority opinion holder', so sending a dramatic email to someone who writes columns might be a good way to try to garner sympathy. But, becoming active in your own district seems like a good way to do that, too. And, if you don't want an elected school board telling you what to do with your kids, maybe you could run for the school board. Participate in Democracy. That sounds good, right?

  • In reply to dave77:

    Dave77,
    Everything you mentioned has already been tried. We request information, we get no response. We request information on how they come to their conclusion, we get no response.
    We go to run for the board .... since we're not in their little high school click, we get no endorsement. But if you're willing to support their agenda, endorsements up the ass. We are all active and are continuing to hit a brick wall. We are not the minority, and we are not confused. The schools have a surplus of $25 million.
    We are in a community where if we speak up or stand up then we are attacked, and in some cases Doxed. You would think that this sort of action would be looked down on but for some strange reason they are applauded for ruining the life/career of people that have a difference in opinion.
    Never thought I would see a time where feelings hold more power than facts.

  • In reply to Robin815:

    If a majority of residents think that the School Board is doing the wrong things, then endorsements from the School Board should mean very little, I would think. It's almost February and the election is in April. I would think that if the majority agreed with you, the School Board would be getting nervous.

    There isn't something unreasonable happening here. The School Board was actually voted in power so that they could make decisions about the children. That is the way it works. If the members of the Board that are running for re-election continue to behave the way they have been behaving, they must have a reason for doing so. I don't live in the community, so I don't know who has or hasn't been doxed, but I'm going to set a reminder in my calendar to check the paper in April to see if some new people get voted onto the Board or if the majority prefer the way things are being run.

  • In reply to dave77:

    What they've done is unreasonable. Yes, they were voted in (and will face re-election), but the fact that they were elected does not shield them from criticism for making destructive decisions.

  • In reply to Dennis Byrne:

    It does not shield them from *reasonable* criticism.

    > We've decided what's best for your kids and you can go shove it.

    Ahem...

  • In reply to dave77:

    The widely-shared complaint is that the board opens its board meetings with a public comment segment that allows the speaker only a minute or two to speak. If the speaker asks a question he gets no answer or a response from the board that it'll get back to the speaker later. Which doesn't happen. I quite agree that democracy is the answer and if the parents feel strong enough, they need to campaign to win some seats. But whomever they elect, the parents and citizens are the ultimate authority, not the board.

  • In reply to Dennis Byrne:

    You seem confused on this... The parents are not the ultimate authority. The School Board is. The community chooses the Board for the express purpose of being the ultimate authority. Every election cycle, the citizens choose a new group to be the ultimate authority. How do you get this so wrong?

    What would it look like if citizens were the ultimate authority? The ones who shout the loudest get their way? The ones who can get a columnist to write a sympathetic column get their way? The ones with weapons? Seriously, how do you think this actually works?

  • In reply to dave77:

    That's right. What ever a (appointed or elected) board decides is etched in stone. We also should change the Constitution's Preamble to "We, the elected congressmen and president, in order to...." instead of "We the people..." You're leading us down a dangerous road.

  • In reply to Dennis Byrne:

    No, it isn't etched in stone. It's etched in whatever the pre-approved procedures for modification are.

    You say I'm leading us down a dangerous road. But, you have yet to specify what you think the appropriate mechanism for changing the decisions of the School Board is. What do you think they should be? You say that the School Board shouldn't be able to make decisions when some unknown number of people don't like them. How many does that number need to be? How do they reasonably count themselves to present that verified number? Who do they present it to? Then what happens? Do they just hold a new election? Who gets to run?

    If you think my road is dangerous, why don't you read the policies of the Board of D113: https://boardpolicyonline.com/?b=townshiphsd_113

    Tell us, which policies are missing? Which ones are incorrect? And then, ask the parents who send you emails what they have done to try to change those policies?

    Are you really implying that the citizens and members of the School Board of D113 following their published policies is a dangerous road?

  • Dennis, I am heartened by your support of science, data, and facts. The science and data. at this time, do support your position on reopening schools. Now if you can only support the science and data and facts on climate change. And on the spherical shape of the Earth. [tongue in cheek]

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    I respect science so much that I keep an open mind. I respect scientists who disagree with the given wisdom about global warming, even when they are in the vast minority. I less to the substance, not some poll. The climate has been warming for hundreds of years and the science upon which public policy is based can be questioned since parts of it have not yet been fully understood. For example, the given wisdom generally dismisses the influence of sun cycles--even though it is the source of all life and energy on the planet. And we so arrogant to believe that public policy can for the first time in the planet's existence stabilize the climate? Responses about the flat earth aren't persuasive either.

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