Welcome to Oak park, Il where even the Local high school is involved in racial suppression when it comes to freedom of speech. Organized as a day of remembrance for Trayvon Martin’s death on February 26th students marched as they wanted to exercise their first amendment rights. We have seen these countless times across the country recently with other protests. Whether it was about school shootings or to remember victims of injustice and of course you will get people outside the organizing body to support these actions in one way or the other.
In Oak Park, IL some faculty members actually supported the students in their efforts to protest and were placed on suspension. Now, Oak Park and River Forest High School can state that it is their prerogative to suspend these employees assisting in organizing the march although the School could have used this as a teaching moment to all sides of this issue as a way of peacefully voicing opposing viewpoints or just exercise (again) one’s First amendment rights. However, OPRF went to the extreme and went totally fascist on the assisting employees and suspended them. Now you may think that was the right thing to do however it was not.
All it did was add increased racial tension and divide into the school’s culture, great job school administration! Plus, it gave the Oak Park, IL community and now, River Forest, IL a worse black eye (no pun intended) as a community of racial intolerance ready to stomp out dissenting voices if you work for a system that is espousing views of tolerance however acting with a degree of bigotry. It also increased the school’s time in the local news, not due to the excellence of its academics but for racist graffiti, shit like this, etc. tearing down what possibly most residents move in the village for when they have kids: a reputable school (institution) for their kids to graduation from.
But, they are left with this mess of oppressing dogma, the students in solidarity of those staff that assisted them arranged a sit down to not only exercise their first amendment rights but to shine a light on this injustice as well. If OPRF is fine with silencing these employees who else or what else might this institution be willing to silence to keep things in order or “safe”. No, this is merely something that came to the light because students have had enough for how they are treated in Oak Park, IL. Looked down with suspicion, tinged with racist overtones, the students obviously had enough and most likely so did these employees.
The only reason one can possibly fathom that these employees would jeopardize their jobs is if they were subject to the same type or behavior from the residents of Oak Park, IL as these students. It is easier to support something that you can believe in if you have been impacted by it directly as well, something that was lost in this entire episode. Most possibly by the OPRF high school as well, considering how they operate, “teaching the minds of tomorrow” no wonder why Oak Park, IL is headed on a downward spiral. If these are the actions exhibited in comparison to the values (supposedly) championed by this community, if there is no grasp on reality of how things really are, there is hope, no future here, and then hate does have a home… here in Oak Park, IL
This is the article talking about the school putting employees administrative leave and the sit in that followed:
Here is article from a Chicago news outlet talking about the staged sit in even further and the other issues plaguing the school: