As we near the start of school for 4000+ D181 students, we want to take a moment to comment on the resignation this week of Dr. Wahl, the Superintendent of the high school district -- D86 -- that most of our students will be attending in the future. Our comment has nothing to do with his resignation, the reasons for it, or what it means for the high school district. This blog is about D181, not D86. However, we want to commend all of the parents and community members who signed their names on comments they have posted after the Hinsdale Patch articles dealing with Dr. Wahl's resignation. Comments supporting and opposing the resignation and recent conduct of the D86 Board of Education members have been powerful and well reasoned. We hope that parents reading this blog will feel empowered to do the same and begin telling us how you feel about the Posts we have been publishing and our discussions on D181 issues.
Later this week we will begin a series on the Central Office Administrators who are "running" D181. We hope you will weigh in with your opinions. Stay tuned.
Question: Why kudos to D86 parents using their names when commenting on difficult subjects when your own website won't specify who is involved, won't say who is writing the material, and allows anonymous posts?
Thank you Ms. Holinger for your question. Here are the reasons why we -- as the authors of this blog -- have chosen to remain anonymous for now:
1. There is a pervasive distrust that overshadows D181 that is felt by parents and teachers alike. Both constituents have been afraid -- yes, afraid -- to publicly criticize the current administration out of fear of retaliation.
2. This retaliation has been felt in the past by teachers being "reassigned" and by parents who have sensed or experienced a change in the way their students were being treated -- not necessarily by the teachers -- but by administrators they have discussed their concerns with.
3. Some parents who have publicly raised concerns have also found that suddenly, rather than the retaliation that they feared, their student was suddenly offered district paid for "extra services" or "acceleration" into courses that they did not even request and have perceived these "offers" as attempts to silence their criticisms.
As a result, we the authors -- who belong to different constituent groups in the D181 community, feel it is necessary to raise our concerns without exposing who we are. We do not want to face either retaliation, or attempts to silence us with offers of "extras."
Perhaps some in the community will view this as a cop out, but for now, we will not publish our identities.
There are, however, some community members who are willing to sign their names on comments and posts they submit to us asking for their publication, and if they do so, we will honor that request.
The purpose of commending the D86 community members who posted comments and signed their names was to praise their willingness to speak out on the issues. We know people are discussing the issues we have raised in this blog, because we have personally heard the discussions going on in town over the summer. We will accept anonymous comments on this blog, and hope people will begin posting comments (with or without their names) so that the community members can feel comfortable posting their thoughts in a forum that can be read by all.
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