“D200 board denounces member’s ‘Islamophobia,’” by Michael Romain, OakPark.com, January 6, 2021:
Throughout a particular board assembly held Dec. 22, members of the District 200 faculty board apologized to Oak Park resident Dima Ali and formally denounced feedback made by D200 board member Matt Baron that many neighborhood members stated prompted hurt to Ali and different Muslim and non-white Oak Parkers.
The controversy dates to a remark written by Ali in November below a Wednesday Journal information article about Oak Park Trustee Dan Moroney, which was posted to Fb. In her remark, Ali referred to as Moroney a white supremacist.
Baron, who is aware of Moroney, contacted Wednesday Journal and urged the paper to take away the Fb remark earlier than submitting an opinion piece to the paper during which he in contrast Ali’s remark to somebody leaving duffle baggage in public locations — code for terrorism. Ali is Muslim, a proven fact that Baron subsequently stated he didn’t know on the time he wrote the piece.
Baron issued a written apology roughly every week later, calling his analogy “far too intense” and “needlessly over-the-top as I sought to stir folks on this neighborhood to push again on unfair character assaults.”
Throughout temporary feedback made at a Dec. three Committee of the Complete assembly, Baron stated his metaphor was “supposed to impress bystanders like those that click on like or love in response to the white supremacist label,” earlier than doubling down on what he referred to as his “key level — let’s cease the racial id politics.”
In her remarks made in the course of the Dec. 22 particular assembly, Ali stated she was disillusioned by the board’s delayed response to Baron’s feedback and referred to as for his resignation.
“An Islamophobic board member shouldn’t be sitting proper now like this,” she stated, including that she felt the board failed its marginalized college students and neighborhood members by not condemning Baron’s remarks extra swiftly.
“We’re not terrorists,” stated Ali, who can be an Oak Park and River Forest Excessive Faculty mum or dad. “We’re your neighbors. … We’re your folks. On this neighborhood, we don’t drop suspicious duffel baggage, we drop off baggage filled with donations. We drop off meals, soup to any sick pal and neighborhood member.”
After Ali’s remarks, D200 board President Sara Dixon Spivy learn an announcement on behalf of the board majority that “formally denounced” Baron’s opinion piece, including that Baron additionally “failed to acknowledge the impression and hurt” of his opinion piece in his subsequent board feedback.
The board stated Baron’s “racist and Islamophobic remarks instantly battle with this board’s perception in racial fairness and inclusion,” including that they’ve additionally “undermined ongoing efforts” made by the district to advance its mission of bettering fairness and inclusion, and making a “tradition of heat” for all OPRF college students and neighborhood members….