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Highland Park Hacks

"District 113 administrators hunkered down, refusing to address the firestorm of debate - except through e-mail statements about why they canceled the trip," the Tribune reports.

In other words, Highland Park school officials are now boycotting the media and the public along with Arizona, their own students and the parents of their students.

*

I'd call for a boycott of Highland Park but we'd have to pretend there was a reason to go there in the first place.

*

"'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,' Superintendent George Fornero said in a letter to parents."

So now "liberty" is at stake.

Do high school basketball referees now have the authority to ask for papers under the new 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,' Suzan Hebson, the assistant superintendent, said Thursday in an e-mail to the Tribune.

"Earlier this week, Hebson said she did not know if anyone associated with this year's team is undocumented. The district does not yet know the make-up of its varsity team next fall. Parents and players said they knew of no one currently on the team who was in the country illegally."

So it depends on how well recruiting efforts go over the summer.

*

"Fornero and Hebson on Thursday backed away from any suggestion that the decision was a political protest, despite Hebson's comment to the Tribune on Tuesday that the trip 'would not be aligned with our beliefs and values.'

"'District 113's decisions regarding travel of its students in regard to extracurricular activities is never political,' Hebson said in her follow-up e-mail."

So the district would have had no problem playing Sun City?

*

"Administrators say they are seeking another out-of-state tournament for the team to play in next season."

But so far they have come up empty looking for a state without any objectionable laws. In fact, administrators announced they will no longer allow their teams to play in Illinois tournaments until Gov. Quinn passes serious ethics reform.

*

"Highland Park [is] an upscale North Shore community that includes the heavily Hispanic town of Highwood in its educational district."

Bingo.

And thanks to district school officials, the raid on Highwood will take place long before any stinkin' basketball tournament.

*

One student tries out for Fox News:

"Jessie Rooth, 17, a junior, said she's in the band, which went to China last year.

"'I don't think the team should be stopped from going to Arizona seeing as how we were allowed to go to China,' Rooth said. 'There are issues in China with communism. Before we left we talked about certain things and how we couldn't act certain ways. Arizona has its issues, and there shouldn't be a correlation between the kids not being able to go just because of the laws in Arizona.'"

Another student tries out for MSNBC:

"Marissa Medansky, 17, a junior, applauded the administrators' decision.

"'We have a very diverse student population, and it's our responsibility to protect everyone who goes to this school regardless of their race, regardless of their documentation status,' she said.

"'I think the media attention is unfortunate,' she added. 'I think the district did a brave thing, and it's horrible how it's being misconstrued by all these media outlets. There are two sides to the story, and they're only choosing to tell one side of the story, that the team can't go.'"

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Comments welcome.



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Posted on May 14, 2010


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