Calvin Freiburger

Worst Superintendent in America? Basketball Trip Canceled over AZ Immigration Law

Posted on May 14 2010 4:00 pm
Hailing from Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, Calvin Freiburger is a political science major at Hillsdale College. He also writes for the Hillsdale Forum and his personal website, Calvin Freiburger Online.
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And the hits just keep coming from partisan educators.  Last night, Sean Hannity spoke with two students & basketball players from Highland Park High School in Chicago, the school which canceled the basketball team’s highly anticipated trip to Arizona (the team made it to conference championships for the first time in 26 years) in protest of the state’s new immigration law, citing “safety concerns” and objecting that the law was inconsistent with the school’s values:

GREENBERG: So pretty much I was — I was upset about it because a lot of them are my friends and knowing that my close friends can’t go out and to compete and do what they love, it was upsetting.

HANNITY: Do you see any safety concerns, Lauren?

EVANS: I mean I don’t really see any safety concerns with us playing basketball.


What do you think you both learned from this? Lauren, you first.

EVANS: I think I’ve learned that, like, politics and sports shouldn’t mix. And they shouldn’t like affect each other, especially at the high school level.

HANNITY: Yes. High school —


HANNITY: Yes, go ahead, Kalie.

GREENBERG: I was just — I was going to say the same thing, especially at high school level, politics should have nothing to do. High school is a place to learn, a place to learn the values that you’ll use throughout your life. And just bringing politics into high school? It — it just doesn’t seem right.

Amen, ladies. For many, extracurricular activities such as athletics, music, and such are means of escape from the stress, complexity, and ugliness of the real world, domains where kids can just be kids.  The same leftists who scream about keeping politics out of the bedroom seem curiously silent about injecting politics into the basketball court. Indeed, how does setting the example that entire states ought to be shunned over policy disagreements possibly teach civic virtue?

Of course, it goes without saying that Assistant Superintendent Suzan Hebson doesn’t particularly care about what the law actually says, obliterating the fiction that this is some great moral stand akin to boycotting “whites-only” water fountains. And as one of the players’ fathers has pointed out, the school has had no qualms about green-lighting plenty of other trips:

“The school has sent children to China, they’ve sent children to South America, they’ve sent children to the Czech Republic, but somehow Arizona is more unsafe for them than those places,” he said. “The beliefs and values of China are apparently aligned since they approved that trip,” he added.

So, just to clarify: forced abortion, sterilization, censorship, repression of dissidents and minorities—apparently consistent with Highland Park High School’s “beliefs and values.”  Trying to regain some level of control over whether or not someone’s in your state legally—verboten.

And, wonder of wonders, it turns out that this isn’t Hebson’s first foray into radicalism:

In 2007, when she was assistant superintendent for human resources in the district, Hebson made national news for supporting an initiative at Deerfield High School that required freshman students to participate in orientation panel discussions, one of which was led by members of the school’s Straight and Gay Alliance Network. During the seminars, upperclassmen spoke to the ninth graders about a variety of topics affecting homosexual teens, including their own personal experiences — and all students were required to sign confidentiality agreements swearing never to disclose what they heard.

Parents were not allowed to attend the panel discussions, leading some to call it an attempt to indoctrinate students into a homosexual lifestyle.


The following year, Hebson was made principal of Deerfield High School, where she became embroiled in another controversy — this time related to the inclusion of the play “Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes” in students’ required reading material. Parents were alarmed by the book’s explicit content, which includes highly offensive racial slurs, vivid depictions of gay sex and a sexually explicit scene involving Mother Teresa. [Emphasis added]

Well, well, well—it turns out that forcing students to keep secrets from their parents and pornographic depictions of religious figures are also consistent with the school’s values. No wonder there’s already a “Fire Suzan Hebson” Facebook group with over 9,000 members.

Suzan Hebson is the textbook example of an unfit educator.  To her, education is little more than a vehicle for leftism.  She displays no respect whatsoever for the students under her care or the rights of the parents who pay her salary.  And while I sympathize with those parents, unfortunately I think the community’s parents and taxpayers are partly to blame for not taking a stand sooner.  The very minute somebody endorses showing students anything that parents are not allowed to see as well—that students are prohibited from even discussing with their parents—any critical observer should be convinced that she has betrayed the public’s trust, and should be replaced.

This story highlights just how completely left-wing ideology overrides all other considerations among the public-school establishment.  It’s not enough to let kids be kids, or to leave their political development to their families; no opportunity to bash conservatives or mold students into servants of the Left’s utopian vision can go unexploited.


Hailing from Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, Calvin Freiburger is a political science major at Hillsdale College.  He also writes for the Hillsdale Forum and his personal website, Calvin Freiburger Online.

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