I am one of the community members who attended the America to Me showing at OPRF High School on Monday, Sept. 10, and the previous times it was shown as well. I am a parent-alum and a grandparent of four students. I invested in inclusion when I chose to pay property taxes here since 1985, which I estimate at $350,000, so I am invested in OPRF and a major stockholder. I’m a minister, psychotherapist, health-care justice advocate, and I also work in higher education.

I am deeply offended by the sad and offensive outcome of the prelude to the viewing that Monday. I believe it was a phenomenal act of wisdom and courage for the principal of OPRF to invite the Hinsdale principal to the showing and recounting the race-baiting events of the game in question as well as his confrontation of their behavior in the moment. However, when Hinsdale’s principal rose to speak to the community members gathered there and made no apology and accepted no responsibility, he deepened the offense from three years ago. He said something about working together. That is not possible without accepting responsibility and making an apology. Period. I seriously regret not standing up at that time, but it occurs to me that was the job of our principal. He allowed the Hinsdale principal, Mr. Walsh, to gaslight OPRF and the community.

In a letter recently circulated to Hinsdale parents in regard to the third America to Me episode’s revealing their race-baiting of our football team, it is clearly communicated that Hinsdale apparently was never (officially) aware about the issues depicted in the documentary prior to or after that game in 2015. What that means to me is that, despite a confrontation at the time directly to the Hinsdale team, the official denial persists. And our principal still cooperates with Hinsdale’s denials.

The question both Hinsdale Central and OPRF high schools must answer is how they can truly deal with systemic issues that they aren’t willing to truly address, and when confronted, deny. 

The time is past due for an apology, Hinsdale.

Rev. Elizabeth Ritzman, LCPC

Oak Park

Join the discussion on social media!

One reply on “Hinsdale Central owes OPRF an apology”