Parents voice opinions over canceled school trip

May 17, 2010 (DEERFIELD, Ill.)

Many believe the school board at Highland Park is wrong to cancel the Highland Park High School girls' basketball team's trip to Arizona. The decision has become a national issue and an example people on both sides of Arizona's immigration law point to.

"If it is a security issue, my daughter is in the...chorus that they have in our local school. And they'll be going to South Korea. That doesn't seem to be a problem," said Patty Glicksberg, parent.

"I think it is totally unfair to the kids. What was it based on, why they couldn't go? If it is political, it has nothing to do with basketball," said Howard Levin, parent.

School board members reacting to the outpouring of debate added public comment to their agenda Monday night, though they gave no indication they are reconsidering their decision. And they heard plenty of support from students.

"I'm here to say that I'm 100 percent in support of the decision to deny the request of the varsity basketball girls' team to travel to Arizona," said Marissa Medansky, Highland Park junior.

The issue got increased national exposure last week when former vice-presidential account Sarah Palin came out against the board's decision.

"These girls have been selling cookies to raise enough money to go to the tournament. And even if they kind of have to do it on their own, they kind of have to go rogue, girls," said Palin.

Until now officials have made little public comment on their decision but Monday night they read a statement saying it is not a political decision but that they want to protect students from unwarranted scrutiny.

One member from the team said they never wanted the controversy.

"I think it's just about playing competitive...if it's Orlando, that's great, if it's in Arizoa, wherever we end up going," said Morgan Bartelstein, Highland Park basketball player.

School board members said their final decision has been made. Rather than going to Arizona, the basketball team will play in Orlando, something some girls basketball team members say they are excited about.

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