It has been said, “There is no such thing as a victimless crime,” and to this I would tend to agree. With this in mind, my eyebrows rose when I read the article describing the rise in the number of students trying to obtain (or maintain) admittance into OPRF High School without the mandatory residency requirement. [Questionable residency cases rising at OPRF, News, April 25]. I went online to view comments and my eyebrows took on a different shape as my forehead became furrowed with a look of concern and confusion at the comments I read.
Some commenters used the article to ask, “If the performance gap is so bad, why are so many outsiders trying to get into OPRF?” I interpreted this as meaning that a second look should be given as to whether or not we should spend precious resources to address an equity problem that may not be as bad comparatively.
Then there were the comments indicating a crime was being committed (theft of school resources, falsification of documents, deception, etc.) and that the perpetrators should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and forced to pay restitution. After all, they reasoned, why should Oak Park and River Forest taxpayers get stuck with the perpetrators’ expenses?
Still, there were those who felt a poor and amoral example was being set by the adults who were actively involved in the deception.
Finally, there were those who could partially empathize with the plight of the families from the listed areas of Forest Park, Maywood, Bellwood, Berwyn, and Chicago’s Austin community. Austinites were particularly singled out to make a case for both sides of the argument.
Much could be said about any one of the varied points of view. One thing is for certain: This intersecting of equity, residency, morality, and taxes will come up again soon. The question is, what will the communities of Oak Park and River Forest do to creatively address the issues?