Thursday, May 13, 2010
The Highland Park High School girls’ basketball team will not be participating in a basketball tournament that is going to take place in Arizona. The school has decided that it may not be safe for the girls to travel there.
"We would want to ensure that all of our students had the opportunity to be included and be safe and be able to enjoy the experience," Hebson told the Tribune about the tournament. "We wouldn't necessarily be able to guarantee that."
This basketball team has played in such places as The Czech Republic, South America, and wait for it, China, yet they wouldn’t be safe in Arizona?
The school system has released a statement, it says in part:
"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."
So we now get to the crux of the matter. The people that are in charge of this school system don’t like the immigration law that Arizona passed.
“would not be aligned” with the school's “beliefs and values,” Assistant Superintendent Suzan Hebson told the Chicago Tribune.
Umm, Ms. Hebson, are you aligned to the beliefs and values of China? The country that has a long record of human right violations, such as jailing anyone who shows political dissent, forced abortion, and forcing people to move to complete the work for the Olympics. Those are values that you agree with? Is this the lesson you want to teach the students in your school system?
Parents of some of the players are outraged at this decision. Their view point is that they should have been consulted, at the very least, before the decision was made. They also feel that if any of the girls were uncomfortable that they had the right not to attend the tournament and why make the entire team suffer. Another parent doesn’t understand the decision, because none of the girls on the team are illegal aliens so they are in no danger from a law that is aimed at illegal immigrants.
“I’m not sure whose values and what values and what beliefs they’re talking about, we were just going to Arizona to play basketball and our daughters were very disappointed to find out the trip had been canceled,” Michael Evans, a father of one of the players told Fox News.
To make matters even worse is the fact that the school system is not paying for this. The girls have been raising money for months to pay for the travel expenses related to attending the tournament. This is just yet one more example of how the school systems in this country just don’t get it. These kids are not political pawns. They are just a bunch of girls who have worked hard to have a great basketball team and want to enjoy this experience in their lives. This also is a missed opportunity for these girls to get looked at by college scouts. Sarah Palin, who happened to be in Chicago last night for a speech, has advised the girls to “go rogue” and stand up for their rights to attend this tournament. Keeping these girls home will do nothing to affect the immigration law; it only hurts the girls who have worked hard for the chance to compete. Not a very good lesson to teach young woman.
Susan Hebson, Principal of the school, apparently has a history of liberal activism. She was in favor of a program that had upper class gay students speak to all freshman to "share" their experiences. Students were required to sign a paper saying that they would not talk about the program, not even to their parents. Of course, some children did speak to their parents about it and the program has been stopped; thankfully. I was 13 when I was a freshman in high school, not an age that all will be ready for such conversations. To add to the problem, parents that wanted to attend the panel, were barred. Parents have every right to know what their children are being taught.
She also was very much involved in the required reading list of the students. One of the plays that she had put onto this list is “Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes". A scene in this play has a very graphic sexually charged scene with Mother Teresa, as well as very graphic sex acts between same sex couples. Again, not something that a public high school should be pushing on young and impressionable teens. Public pressure placed on the school once parents started to complain did prompt the school to remove the play from the list. Why this woman still has a job is beyond me, she is not interested in seeing the facts that some families don't agree with her liberal agenda. She is there to give all students an education, even the ones from conservative families.
The Visitor Bureau of Scottsdale will pay the expenses for the basketball team to come and play in the tourney. For insurance reasons, it still may not help the girls get there, but I believe this public pressure may allow them to attend.