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  1. The irony of this situation is that the people calling for transparency are not being transparent with their own objectives. At least Arleen Boyer is being honest when she says “diversity is a choice”. That is what this is really about. The worry that Dr. Holland might make Lake Forest a more diverse place, which scares a lot of you. You live in Lake Forest because you want your children to be safe and have every advantage. Diversity might threaten that. I challenge you to question what really bothers you about Dr. Holland. What she “scrubbed” from the internet was not very radical. The real issue is diversity. At least let’s be transparent about that

    • With all due respect Mr. Taylor, there is now way you could possibly know what our concerns are. You are speculating, and trying to turn this on the residents of Lake Forest/Lake Bluff, who have every right to ask questions about Ms. Holland’s background. After all, she might be charged with the education of our kids. Diversity might just come to Lake Forest, and I believe most would welcome it. That is not the issue. I’ve seen several legitimate concerns brought up here, most importantly her qualifications (she has never been a principal). And whether or not her views on the internet were “radical” in your opinion or not, does not take away her attempt to deceive the community. She has displayed dishonesty right out of the gate. I don’t want someone who has displayed that she has it in her to cover up and deceive in charge of my child’s school, even if she had blonde hair and blue eyes. Race is irrelevant here.

    • Chala Holland is a believer in “white privilege”, “Critical Race Theory”, and “Whiteness as Property” as seen in the list of resources which was scrubbed from her web site:

      https://web.archive.org/web/20130301055026/http://www.hollanded.com/resources-readings

      Everything in her career has been based on race, from her decision to get into education as a “decedent of slaves” to her flagship accomplishment at OPRFHS which put in place a Racial Equity program. She has stated that she sees the “reality of white privilege”, and that school tracking is racist like the old Jim Crow laws.

      “White privilege” is the belief that all white people are born with advantages simply because of their skin color. Their white skin makes them the beneficiary of all previous racial injustices throughout history … and by extension makes them guilty of the crimes committed by their fathers. All whites carry this guilt and nothing can wash off their white privilege.

      No racism on behalf of the white person is necessary, not even a thought crime. All white people are irredeemably guilty and must perpetually be made to pay the price in order to achieve some twisted idea of “Social Justice”. Its followers do not believe that racial reconciliation is possible or even necessary, but attempt to right past wrongs through race based affirmative action and wealth redistribution. They see the old guard of classical liberal activists who agitated for a color-blind society as weak and ineffective.

      The people of Lake Forest can decide if that’s “radical” or not. Clearly Chala herself thinks so since she attempted to scrub her core beliefs from the internet.

      • I can cut and paste from other threads too. 🙂 Here is my reply to this manipulative definition you have chosen to use (which you have never provided your source for):
        —————
        Your chosen working definition (which I am sure is held by others on all sides of this discussion) is:
        <>

        Are you sure this is the working definition that Dr. Holland uses for the term? I too have read all the material about her which is linked to above and never saw her state her definition as you do. I am reluctant to put the words you use into her mouth.

        In my reading up on the topics over the last few days, I see many perspectives on “White privilege”….and your definition seems to be in the camp that wants to provoke a negative reaction (fear, separation, avoidance), whereas in Dr. Holland’s perspective and motivations (on her website and the letters commending her) I see a lot more of a focus on positively repairing things that are broken. Do you agree that race relations are systemically broken in our country?
        ————-
        You state as fact, “Clearly Chala herself thinks so (her ideas are radical) since she attempted to scrub her core beliefs from the internet.”

        Where is your proof that this is fact regarding her motivation for taking her website down? If you do not provide that, we must take this as your assumption that you are trying to pass off as fact.

        • Dave,
          Please feel free to offer your own interpretations of “White Privilege”, “Critical Race Theory”, and “Whiteness as Property”. After that you can explain how the policies put forth by the supporters of these ideas will benefit our children.

          And remember, nothing but “respectful, objective, meaningful dialogue”.

          • Hi Gary,

            Sorry, but I will not be taking the bait. Here’s why:
            1) You have failed to provide the input/background on your assertions that I have asked for in our dialog in multiple places. You seem not to be interested in dialog….your posts to me (and all over these threads today) belie that. My observation/opinion is that you seem interested in the game of scoring internet points by ignoring respectful questions while posing loaded questions (some downright silly) seemingly aimed at entrapping (and cross-posting some on multiple threads).
            2) I am totally unqualified to offer any sociological expertise on my own….so all I could do to engage your request is to find something via Google and post it here (as I suspect you have done with the definition you posted). The topics you list are debated at the highest intellectual levels of the field, so a discussion here would accomplish nothing.
            3) Your real life persona is much better than your online one, so that’s how I would prefer to engage. You seem to have a different perspective and experience in these topics, and I feel I could learn from that.
            4) Most importantly, the point is about what Dr. Holland thinks……and anything I post would/could be seen as putting words in her mouth; and that is what I am objecting to.

            You have established a clear pattern in your posts across multiple threads of making assumptions that trend away from “benefit of the doubt” and towards “worst case scenarios”. You have done this both by making assumptions and passing them off as fact, and by putting words/motivations in Dr. Holland’s mouth. At the risk of sounding pompous for stating the obvious, this sort of pattern is the exact same pattern used by conspiracy theorists.

            Thanks,
            dave…

            PS: I changed my mind after writing the above and will offer my definition. “White Privilege” is Jeff McHugh having to empathize with a potential new colleague since nary a peep has been uttered in the comments here (under his announcement article)…..even though he has no experience as a Principal, has lots of experience in “Personalized Learning Initiative” & “student-driven learning” (stinks to high heavens of an anti-tracking agenda), and does not have an EdD.

          • Dave,
            Finally you admitted to be a believer in “White Privilege”. That’s good. We’re getting somewhere. Now please tell the community how implementing policies based on the White Privilege theory will help our children. And while you’re at it, please explain how any philosophy which judges a person solely on their skin color is compatible with a civil color-blind society. I listed a whole bunch of difficult questions that the proponents of White Privilege need to address in another post. I’m sure you’ve seen it. Have at it.

            For my part of the argument, when someone tells me they “see the reality of White Privilege”, and implement policies in a school designed to counter the “advantages” whites are supposed to have based on their own prejudices, then I take them at their word and I believe they mean it.

            I prefer this format for discussing hot-button issues because I find that it neutralizes false accusations and phony outrage, common tactics used by my opponents who are not prepared to defend their position, or who know doing so will embarrass them. You can say what you want about what I write, but everyone can just go back and read it themselves.

    • Commenters like John Taylor, Rick Cardis and Michael Beyer latch on to only one or two people’s comments and use that to paint all of LF/LB as a bunch of white separatists. John, Rick, and Michael all have a conclusion in search of data to support it. And they call LF/LB close-minded?

      Lake Forest / Lake Bluff (LF/LB) is NOT afraid of, nor threatened by, diversity. This is not about diversity. This is about values. Academic programs and how we manage our schools is a matter of values. If Ms. Holland or anyone else wants to influence our values, will they do it constructively and multi-laterally, or by throwing punches around with intellectually dubious theories? That’s what we want answered, and I certainly don’t think that’s being racist…

    • Please quit portraying your own racist attitudes on others. The issue is Dr. Holland’s qualifications – she is SEVERELY lacking to take a position as principal at LFHS. The people that want to inject race into the equation are Dr Holland’s supporters who want to use it as an excuse for her extremely light resume.

  2. In spite of the fact that Ms. Holland may be as wonderful as those have described her, compassionate, loving to children, well versed in education and an exemplary educator, she still does NOT appear to be a proper fit for LFHS. Diversity is a choice and it not something that can be forced on people. The fact that her views and opinions were wiped from the media indicates there was something to hide. This fact alone should disqualify her immediately and if Ms. Holland had wisdom, she would withdraw herself from this controversy. After all, it appears that LFHS made one mistake in their Superintendent choice, why make the same mistake twice?

    • Diversity is a choice? Maybe it is for white people, choosing whether or not to mix with others. However, people don’t choose their skin color or place of national origin or first language.

      So, you don’t want diversity forced on you? You don’t want people different from you, “outsiders”, forced on a homogeneous Lake Forest? Is this what people mean when they speak of Lake Forest as a bubble?

  3. I was at this morning’s meeting and would like to suggest a course of action to elevate transparency to the community and fairness to this candidate…

    If I were in Ms. Holland’s shoes and was still interested in the position, I would want the opportunity to clearly explain my views and answer any questions as to leave no doubt as to my educational/social philosophies and integrity. I would want the opportunity to demonstrate courage under pressure and speak directly to what I can offer, while being an open book about any perceived missteps in this process. Mr. Simeck and perhaps the Board should do the same – now is the time to overcompensate in transparency and collaboration, since both are perceived to have been breached. Why not offer up another meeting at which Ms. Holland can speak for herself, if so inclined, and questions can be asked of all involved with candid answers provided? More of an educational ‘fireside chat’ if you will, minus the gavel and formalities, where we can better get to know the candidate as a whole person. Positions might be softened and minds changed – or the concern of an inappropriate fit may be confirmed. Perhaps a bit unorthodox in regards to policy, but confidence in the vetting process needs redemption and the Board and Mr. Simeck would do well to be generous under the circumstances.

  4. Bottom line: hiding material, relevant and “deeply held” controversial beliefs from the Board and the community is not leadership, is not integrity and is not an example for our children. Her beliefs, published on her own website and accurately quoted throughout other DNS articles are odious to our community and do not represent our values. The cover-up alone disqualifies her from service here.
    I was so very proud of my fellow citizens and LFHS parents who articulated the reasoned, rational arguments against her hire. I was particularly interested in the African-American resident who pointed out her own academic (not athletic) scholarship to Northwestern who stated words to the effect that we didn’t want a Malcom X person and we didn’t want a KKK person, but that we wanted a person not on either extreme. I was also edified by the LFHS and DPM mom with the heavy Spanish accent who kept pointing at what she called her “brown skin” who spoke in favor of tracking, and who said she did not want anyone to give anything to her or her kids, but that what they had and what they would later obtain was because of “hard work, hard work, hard work.”
    The standing room only crowd suffered the lack of air conditioning and the great inconvenience of showing up at 7 a.m.. But it was worth it.

  5. Thanks to Donald Russ for his accurate accounting of the meeting. What I think lies at the core of all this is as follows:

    A) We of Lake Forest and Lake Bluff gladly entertain different opinions and opposing viewpoints – even ones as incendiary as those held by Chala Holland. The question is, would she come to our community with an open mind ready to learn and grow with us, or would she come here with fists up and obstinate? If her past writings and the accusatory supporters at this meeting give any indication, then the community is right to be concerned. Can she answer why her internet writings have been scrubbed away?

    B) Does the candidate vetting process adequately answer the type of question posed in part A? That this emergency meeting was even necessary casts doubt. Were the community members directly involved in the process informed of Ms. Holland’s views before or after their participation in the interview process?

    Ms. Holland, please reflect on part A. Superintendent Simeck and the LF BOE members, please reflect on part B. To supporters and others, please stop spraying the accusations of racism towards those who bristle at Ms. Holland’s views.

  6. After the second out of town supporter of Dr. Holland made his comments, a member of the community suggested to the BOE as a point of order that District residents be allowed to be heard first. The reason for the suggestion was the limited amount of time available for public comment that the BOE President mentioned at the outset of the meeting. Unfortunately the BOE President did not make any comment either positive or negative to that suggestion. So the general feeling in the room immediately thereafter was that of implied acceptance of the suggestion. When the next out of town supporters got up to speak, there were outbursts from the crowd objecting to what many felt was a ground rule that had been previously accepted. Had the BOE President ruled one way or the other at the time of the suggestion the meeting would have gone better.

  7. Please limit comments to current students and taxpayer residents who elected the current 115 HS School Board Members and pay all salaries of the currently appointed Administration.

    This is our community.

  8. I was at the meeting. They specifically requested that it be for those in Lake Forest.

    When something is being shoved down our throats against our wills, at a meeting during school hours (where most people who care are dropping off their kids) with only two days notice, in a room where the aircon was turned off, where the ladies racist comments were scrubbed from her website and all the other school board meetings are done in the evening. You better believe I booed. I have kids there.

    What about the arrogance of the board for putting up someone who 99% of the people disagree with.

  9. I attended this LFHS board meeting. Public comment began at 7:13 a.m. and ended at 8:25 a.m. after 25 speakers had addressed the board. Each speaker identified his residency and it was a simple matter for me to identify his position.

    Three residents and six non-residents favored the hiring.

    Sixteen people, all residents, opposed it.

    I sat second row, center. I heard everything and I object to a part of the story as it is described here: “And some…of those in attendance boo’d when Dr. Holland’s colleagues…took the podium to share their positive experiences and offer support for her candidacy.”

    That did not happen. There was no booing. When the first non-resident spoke at 7:29 (Mr. Cohen) there was murmured objection to a non-stakeholder insinuating himself.

    The candidate’s college friend spoke at 7:38 and made accusations about the motives of residents which elicited audience outcry twice. People said “Not true!” and similar exclamations, but there was no boorish behavior.

    At 8:11, a resident and 22-year teacher at NCHS said that a “black family moved-in down the street from me, so I know what happens…” She was quite correctly interrupted by a natural indignant reaction. But not booing.

    The suggestion that residents boo’d in direct reaction Dr. Holland’s colleagues who only took the podium to share their positive experience is untrue. This was not a basketball game. It was dignified and orderly.

    Indeed, the greater restraint was required by those who sought to object to this candidate. It was her supporters, not the objectors, who announced to the board simply to be disgusted and ashamed. Not one objector made such a comment.

    The objectors responded to the candidate’s embrace of “white privilege” and “critical race” and “whiteness as property” with great caution. After all, as one early speaker noted, if we hire her we are going to be talking about those things a lot.

    • I looked over my notes and yes, the word “boo” was not used. Rather, in response to some speakers, members of the audience exclaimed “No!” “No!” “No!” and “We are not going to be condescended to!” and “It’s our school!” This prompted BOE President Reese Marcusson to use his gavel to restore order.

    • This was a meeting for Lake Forest residents and many speakers from outside the community took up valuable time by offering comments in support of Chala while Lake Forest residents waited in line. The crowd was in no mood to hear outsiders tell us how to run our school. I didn’t boo, but I don’t blame those who did. To resolve this issue the people of Lake Forest can’t be afraid to take politically incorrect positions, and that was a good start.

      • We must has the masses to stop this! We need more voices and more bodies. Highland Park rallied and due to massive amount of people that spoke up and showed up – they took control of a very similar situation.

        The liberals are slowly nationalizing education – and Lake Forest is a prime place to destroy as they look to control the minds of our children. Common Core – and testing them 30 days of each school year.

        If anything we need to make this a local issue – local decision – local control.

        Miss holland must be stopped

    • There was at no point booing. At the point where they said they would open the floor to commentary from the community, (also noting that time is very limited, and we may not get to everyone) the mic was stacked with her entourage. We heard from her friends, colleagues and even her landlord. This was understandably upsetting and frustrating to a community that felt like our voices were to be silenced.

      • It this a glimpse unto our future? Secret meetings, subversive tactics? You are what you allow to happen to you.

    • I booed. And I’d do it again, but most people were saying “No, No”. There was a procession of Chala supporters who wouldn’t let us talk.

      BTW we pay Mr. Simeck good money to not hire this lady. He makes more than the governor.

      “Lake Forest’s contract awarded Michael Simeck a starting salary of $230,000, with an extra $30,000 thrown in for good measure because Simeck was managing two districts. But in Michigan’s Bloomfield Hills Schools Simeck had likewise been superintendent over two school districts. Simeck’s very generous contract also included a $500 a month car allowance, a $30,000 annual contribution to the Teachers’ Retirement System, a $750,000 life insurance policy, plus an agreement to share moving expenses of $15,000. ”

      He is one of the top paid administrators in the United States of America.

      http://www.rebootillinois.com/2015/04/08/editors-picks/kevin-hoffmanrebootillinois-com/the-highest-paid-illinois-school-superintendents-in-2014/35625/

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