D204 Parent Organizes Rally in Response to School Board Candidate Comments

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District 204 Parent Organizes Rally

On Sunday, a group gathered in Downtown Naperville for the IPSD 204 rally – celebrating diversity and inclusion in our schools.

“We are all in this together. We should all stand together and choose to challenge the status quo,” said Asafonie Obed-Horton. “Whether that is in our families, whether that is within our friendships, our organizations, or our school districts.”

The group of around 40 gathered at the Free Speech Pavilion to listen to four speakers, including District 204 school board candidates Kader Sakkaria and Saba Haider. The two spoke as parents not candidates.

“There’s significant hope for our future generation,” said Sakkaria. “That is what we need to focus on is how to we build our future generation, how do we coach them, how do we educate them?”

“There’s more work that needs to be done right now because right now these are times of strong opinions, of strong and high emotions,” said Haider.

What Happened?

Obed-Horton organized the rally in response to an email she received from District 204 school board candidate Shannon Adcock. According to an online petition, when Obed-Horton asked her about culturally responsive teaching legislation, Adcock replied with have you “considered starting your own charter school? It could charge tuition and welcome families who want that full time social justice and race-based curriculum.”

“I have worries because I’ve seen it practiced in this manner in our district where a teacher can pick and choose how they reference a race in their classroom. And we have to teach history, we have to teach about the stains of history to not repeat those mistakes. But to single out any student for their race, their creed, their sexuality, that’s where I get nervous,” said Adcock. “I don’t feel like it belongs in the public school with public funds especially in the fourth largest district in the state where we have so much diversity as a given and I think our teachers to give them the benefit of the doubt they are excellent with this already.”

Obed-Horton also started an online petition asking Adcock to drop out of the race, which has just over 870 signatures. “We are going to choose to challenge hate, we are going to choose to challenge division, we choose to challenge inequality and the call to action is to vote on April 6,” said Obed-Horton.

Adcock said she doesn’t plan to withdraw. She suggested it’s worth the district surveying educators on what they’re seeing in the classroom and asking parents their opinions to see if what they’re experiencing match.

Naperville News 17’s Aysha Ashley Househ reports.

Disclosure: Kader Sakkaria is an NCTV17 board member