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IHSA Support Pours In From Around State In Wake Of Friday's Hearing

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The Illinois High School Association (IHSA) announced on Monday on September 29 that it would not attend the Elementary & Secondary Education Committee hearing scheduled for October 3 after it was denied the opportunity to testify or call witnesses. The committee reversed course allowing for a "rebuttal",  which led IHSA Executive Director Marty Hickman to release the following statement on October 3:

"After the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) announced that it would not accept the invitation to attend the Elementary and Secondary Education Committee hearing scheduled for today (October 3), a committee spokesperson followed up on Wednesday and offered the IHSA an opportunity for a “rebuttal” at the conclusion of Friday’s hearing if time permitted. We appreciate the committee’s recognition of the flaw in the format of this hearing and the small concession they were willing to make. However, the verbiage “rebuttal” reaffirms our belief that this hearing isn’t about gathering information and that the witnesses have likely been selected based upon what they will say about, and against, the IHSA. Our suggestion to cancel Friday’s hearing, just as the July hearing was canceled, and rescheduling it with a more equitable format on a mutually agreeable date and time was not heeded. The decision to not accept the invitation to attend this hearing was done with careful consideration and the offer for a rebuttal did not change our position on attending. We believe that a hearing of this nature should be about open conversation and honest dialogue with the affected stakeholders. We believe that can and will occur, and remain open to it, whether it occurs in a hearing, or some other setting. We plan to review the hearing early next week and will respond if warranted."

Support from around the state poured in for the IHSA after the first committee hearing in May, and once again high school administrators, coaches, media, a committee member and the general public have come out in support of the IHSA in the face of the second hearing. As of October 2, 803 individuals, mostly high school personnel, had cast votes opposing the hearing on the Illinois General Assembly website. A sample of support from around the state is below:

Chicago Sun Times:

Springfield State Journal-Register:

Rockford Register-Star:

WICS-TV in Springfield:

State Representative/Committee Member Barb Wheeler:
Posted In: General

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