While I don't have direct knowledge of the way OPRF's TEAM operates, my interactions with special education and other OPRF leaders have been marked by the patterns of obstructionism and discrimination that Scott Berman, Terry Burke, and Carolyn Effgen described in the April 20 VIEWPOINTS section.
Everywhere I look, lately, I've been running into milestones. Friday evening, after a very busy week, we pried ourselves out of the office and reconvened at the home of one of our editors to celebrate the departure of Ashley Ernst, an esteemed colleague, whose family is moving to Seattle, starting over after her father died last year.
The front porch issue, more narrowly the round vs. square columns on the front porch issue, has the earmarks of an "isn't Oak Park a goofy town" story?#34;the sort of story with TV reporters covering a village board meeting on the subject and John Kass resorting to his "People's Republic of Oak Park" inanity.
Try to imagine (or remember) what it would be like to have just moved into town and decide what church to join. In a way, that is my situation. I started writing about religion for WEDNESDAY JOURNAL just 20 days ago, and I'm trying to make sense of the religious mix in Oak Park and River Forest.
I am a cafeteria Catholic. Married priests: yes. Women priests: yes. Contraception: yes. Gay marriage/civil union: yes. Abortion? Although I am personally against it, like former President Bill Clinton, I think it should be safe, legal and rare.
Over the last month, former employees, students and parents have been testifying to Dr. Sue Bridge, OPRF superintendent; to Phil Prale, assistant superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction; and to TEAM parents regarding charges of physical abuse, verbal abuse, and neglect of students in the TEAM program. TEAM is the high school's self-contained program for students with significant cognitive disabilities.
On to Baghdad! Nuke-free, gun-free, soon to be smoke-free! But why stop there? Don't make the same mistake as Bush I. That only leads to Bush II. Keep pushing. With a little extra effort, we could clean up Oak Park completely. On to Baghdad!
A long-time West Suburban colleague and friend, Pat Shanley, has recently received devastating news about her health. Pat had major surgery in March, and has since learned that she is in need of a liver transplant. Pat's challenges in the coming weeks will leave her without any remaining sick time, and she is ineligible for short-term disability insurance based on Resurrection's carrier's limitations.