Highland Park juniors Lauren Evans and Marguerite Biagi (Heather Charles, Chicago Tribune May 11 2010)
One of the bigger news stories to recently unfold in the United States involves a high schools girls’ basketball team. This Highland Park High School girl’s basketball team was scheduled to play a tournament in Arizona, but the school district’s superintendent declined to allow the team visit that state because of Arizona’s new anti-immigration law. The new law allows police to ask any person to produce proof of their legal resident status, at any time and for any reason. The law is widely seen as a measure allowing racial profiling of Latinos (The text for Arizona’s Senate Bill 1070 can be found here
District 113 superintendent George Fornero has said he is concerned about the “safety and liberty” of some of players under this law, as Highland Park High School also serves the neighboring town of Highwood, which has a large Latino population. It is unknown if any of the current team members are in the country illegally. Prominent conservatives, meanwhile, have denounced these actions as politically motivated and detrimental to the sports careers of these girls.
Absent from these decisions and discussions is any indication that the girls’ opinions were taken into consideration.
After all, we’re not talking about preschoolers here – this is a high school team. These girls will soon be eligible to vote, and many will be making choices about college in the near future. Neither the administrators nor the political pundits who immediately jumped into the debate seem to have considered what the girls think, even though it is they who are effected by these decisions. I wonder if the boys’ football team would have been similarly ignored.
The answer to this issue seems pretty obvious: take a vote. See how many girls would still like to go to Arizona for the tournament versus how many would be uncomfortable traveling there. It’s as simple as that.
Then again, when matters become political, nothing is ever simple.
You can read about this controversy at http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/northnorthwest/ct-met-highland-park-reaction-0514-20100514,0,3820200.story?page=1.
- Miriam Musco
Girl Museum Inc.