I found out today that my beloved high school is now the joke of the nation. Highland Park High School, located in the town of the same name twenty miles north of Chicago on Lake Michigan, was the joy of my teenage years. I loved high school. This was where I came into my own as a person.
Sports and the HGA, the Highland Park Girls’ Athletic Association, were my life. I was on some of the first teams to participate in extramural sports. I went on to play college field hockey. All my sports endeavors were before Title IX, therefore we did not earn letters or wear letter sweaters or jackets. I like to think of myself as a pioneer.
Today, girls and women play at the highest level in high school and college. They earn athletic scholarships, and are as revered as the boys and men. I far prefer to watch the CSU women play basketball than the men.
The Highland Park High School girls’ basketball team was so successful that they were invited to participate in a tournament in Scottsdale next December. Imagine the excitement of the girls, both in winning and in being invited to a tournament. However, their hopes were dashed when, in its infinite wisdom, the administration of Township High School District 113 decided that because of the new law about illegal aliens in Arizona, they weren’t going to send the girls to the tournament. Read here.
Arizona SB 1079 allows police and other local authorities to demand proof of immigration of anyone they suspect being undocumented. This bill will be challenged by the ACLU, of which yours truly as been a card-carrying member for nearly twenty years.
This decision by District 113 is terrible. The administrators are using their personal political ideology to keep little girls from being rewarded for excellence. The administrators say it isn’t political, but a decision made for the safety of the team. What are local authorities going to do them, pull the bus over to see if they are from Italy or Israel?
Highland Park High School is ethnically not balanced. The City of Highland Park is mostly Jewish, and the Village of Highwood is 100% Italian. To buy a house in Highwood, someone has to die. When I went to HPHS, there were also the Army kids from Fort Sheridan. Today, Fort Sheridan is no more, and the gorgeous land is an upscale development.
I emailed the article to my best high school sports buddy, Kathy. We are both retired PE teachers. Kathy grew up in Highwood, I in Highland Park. She wrote snidely, “Well you know, Jewish and Italian people DO look Spanish!” She also remarked that it was ‘disgusting’ that the girls had had a bake sale to finance the trip. Do boys and men do that as fundraisers? But I digress.
Follow the news over the next few days. Let’s see if this can go away and the girls can go on the trip. Oh yeah, even Sarah Palin got in on the HPHS bashing. As a former BB player, she remarked about how much she learned from basketball. I doubt the Highland Parkers care about Palin’s remarks. When I visited in 2004, most North Shore homes had Obama for Senate signs on their lawns.
October 9 marks my 40th high school reunion. I can’t go because I’ll be in school. Bummer. I’m betting that this goes away by the weekend. Keep you ‘posted.’