Those in the Oak Park and River Forest High School community who support some version of a closed campus have spoken. And they’ve done so consistently and vocally over the past year.

Now it’s time to hear from those who support an open campus and why. Some gave their opinion at a roundtable forum last Tuesday at the high school. But the consensus that night, as it has been during similar forums last summer and spring, is to close the campus to some or all students.

But one thing is different from last year. The Feb. 15 forum was put together by the high school. The Citizens Council parent committee groups until then organized and led these discussions. OPRF has now taken the lead in closed-campus talks, and is encouraging all voices and opinions to be heard.

Drug-sniffing dogs and drug testing of students were also topics discussed at the forum. The high school is moving toward a decision on all of these issues. We’ll keep a close eye on that process.

In the meantime, there are still many legitimate questions worth raising. Should an open campus be a privilege earned by some students? What are students’ privacy rights on a school campus with drug-sniffing dogs? Should drug testing be mandated by the school or must it be approved by parents?

It will be too late to raise a fuss once the school makes a decision. At the very least, it would be disingenuous for anyone at that time to complain or accuse the high school of ramming through a decision. We — and perhaps OPRF as well — are surprised that there hasn’t been more vocal support for an open campus, or opposition to drug-sniffing dogs and drug testing. We know those voices are out there. There will surely be more opportunities to hear from you, but maybe not for long.

The high school is doing its part to provide the forum.

It’s your turn now.

Join the discussion on social media!