Hinsdale Township High School District 86's boundary change eliminates buffer zone, upsets parents

HINSDALE, Ill. (WLS) -- Some families with children in the Hinsdale Township High School District 86 are upset after the district changed its boundaries.

The change, approved by the school board Monday night, eliminates a controversial buffer zone where residents could pick which school they wanted their children to attend -- Hinsdale Central or Hinsdale South.

Hinsdale South is the 20th best school in the state and Hinsdale Central is ranked 13th, according to U.S. News & World Report rankings.

However, Hinsdale Central is bursting at the seams and Hinsdale South has plenty of room for more students.

Parents who bought homes in the buffer zone with hopes of sending their kids to Hinsdale Central are upset with the school board now that their children will have to attend Hinsdale South.

Monday night's meet was raucous at times and the board left at one point, requiring that extra police be called to keep order.

"What I care about is the education my kids are getting," said parent Danielle Jamil.

"They make the biggest investment in their lives based on which school ... it's not right to take that away," said parent Drew Sikula.

According to a group of Burr Ridge residents who have filed this complaint with the federal Office for Civil Rights, the district is discriminating by putting more resources into Hinsdale Central. The boundaries sent most of the students from diverse ethnic and lower socio-economic backgrounds to Hinsdale South.

"They've made boundary decisions that seem to seclude a more white and affluent population on one side of town and they seclude a more diverse socio-economic and racially diverse on the other side of town," said Zachary Mottl, a Burr Ridge trustee.

School board members have said they hope settling boundary issues will generate support for a $185 million referendum this fall which would pay for improvements to both schools.
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