With camps and practices for some student activities already starting, and the first day of school for all students two weeks away, Hinsdale High School District 86 Board members and community residents have called for a quick resolution of a contract with teachers.
But where do the students stand on the issue?
“I’m a little disappointed in what I’m seeing,” said senior Marissa Dupont, who is president of the Hinsdale South Student Council. “I see a bunch of adults acting like stereotypical middle school girls. They are not calling each other names, but it’s implied.”
Dupont, a Burr Ridge resident, has attended the last three School Board meetings, and noted the Aug. 4 meeting was rough. Peter Cirjakovic, a senior from Darien, agreed.
“I know there is a lot of misinformation about there, but I know I like the teachers more than the board.” Cirjakovic said. “The dialogue between the board members and the crowd is crazy.”
Aaron Fuller of Hinsdale, who will be a freshman at Hinsdale Central, said he and his sister are somewhat upset about the possibility of a strike.
“She is a senior and she does not want to have a late graduation date,” Fuller said.
Dupont acknowledged her senior year is a very important one.
“I have six AP classes. It’s crucial you are in class to learn everything you need to know,” she said.
Even though the AP tests are not until May, Dupont said “You start worrying about them on the first day of class.”
Writing essays and getting letters of recommendation from teachers for college applications are also on seniors’ minds.
“We can go up to any teacher in the building and ask for help,” Dupont said. “My English teacher said if you want another set of eyes on your essay, come talk to me.”
Dupont hopes to have all her college applications filed by her birthday, Sept. 22, because the earlier you apply, the better your chances.
“At the core of it, all the teachers care about us and our performance and our ability to get into the school we want,” she said.
Despite her familiarity with the teachers, Dupont said she tries to remain neutral.
“I like my teachers and I dislike the way the board is behaving,” she said. “As students we don’t track the finances of it.”
But two Hinsdale South sophomores said they think the teachers already are well paid.
“They get paid a lot more than the Chicago teachers do,” said Lana Loera of Willowbrook.
“They make a lot, enough to live on,” said Alyssa Glade of Darien. “They should be grateful they even have jobs, unlike a lot of other people.”
Kiran Khatau, a Hinsdale Central senior from Oak Brook, has made up her mind.
“Just knowing the board’s history in the past makes me side with the teachers,” she said. “The experience for students with the board hasn’t been good. They changed the schedule for final exams second semester last year so we had our exams during a regular school-day schedule, instead of just having a couple of exams and being done at noon.”
Khatau has seen newsletters about the contract issue, mostly from the School Board that were mailed to her home.
“I have had our teachers and know how reasonable they are,” she said.
Elle Casini of Burr Ridge, whose father is on the District 86 Board, said, “even though students want to support their teachers, they should trust that the board will take care of it.”
The issue is between the board and the teachers, Casini said.
“The students shouldn’t be involved,” Casini said.
Casini said if contract negotiations interrupted school, “It would be kind of scary because I’m a senior. It would be quite a different year.”
Aidan Kelly, a Hinsdale South junior from Darien, agreed negotiations are a problem between the School Board and the teachers.
“For the students here, there is no problem being felt,” he said. “Students should be able to know what is going on, but I don’t know if we should necessarily have a say.”Tags: Hinsdale District 86