I recently moved from East Pilsen to Oak Park in search of a better school system for when my daughter enters kindergarten. My ex-husband lives in Brookfield, which has fine schools, but they’re just not on the same level as Oak Park, and the environment in general isn’t as engaging.

He fought me in court on this and won. My attorney explained that the judge felt that “there is a far greater chance of her getting shot in the Oak Park schools.” He was under the impression that the district was riddled with gang activity and as a result, the move that I made here to give my daughter the very best was actually to our detriment in the end. I lost the case and now my daughter will go to school and most likely have to live in Brookfield. The residency issue will be decided in October.

How can this be? How could my residential custody hinge on something so hidden, if it even exists at all in this community? Everyone I spoke to said this was the best school district and the best place to raise a child. I asked everyone I met and did tons of research before deciding to move here. I’m distraught and am searching for answers. I did so much research and really thought I had made the best possible decision for her. Surely the judge is misinformed. Are there any local advocates who could help me? Can anyone there confirm that Brookfield is actually safer than Oak Park?

A. Waters
Oak Park

Join the discussion on social media!