Tuesday, March 01, 2005


The Sun-Times has a huge scoop on the SICA story that is going to blow up the secession talk to front-page importance -- perhaps even national news.

A Sun-Times reporter received a call that, according to caller ID, originated at the house of Lincoln-Way district board member Maureen Jagmin. When the caller received voicemail, apparently the phone failed to hang up, and a subsequent conversation was recorded in which the primary speaker was referred to as "Maureen" and referenced another family member by name.

Select quotes from "Maureen":

The caller refers to three mostly black schools that are part of the 35-school conference, the South Inter-Conference Association, or SICA.

"The schools that used to be good like Rich Central, Rich East and Rich South are all failing schools," the woman said. "Why are they failing? Because of what's in 'em. One of the teachers right down the street said he couldn't wait to get the heck out from 30 years ago when he started teaching when it was just the normal kid. I mean it's a zoo."

Earlier, she spoke in general about black people.

". . . It's getting to the point where I'm tired of the welfare, tired of the mentality that poor blackie because let's give them a job so they can be supporting themselves and, be, make them work. You know, forget this I want to be a bum type of thing. I think it's a forever problem in this country, you know, it's never going to go away in this area here."

Jagmin denies that the voice in the recording is she.

For once, I almost agree with Jesse Jackson, Jr:

"The school board member should step down immediately," said Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.), whose district includes many SICA schools.

Maybe this is an elaborate fraud, but I think Jagmin should voluntarily suspend herself until the issue is cleared up. But I don't think it will be cleared up -- the evidence, to me, is pretty convincing.


RoB said...

people just need to get along. i dunt know what the solution is. but its not victimizing minoritize(as in saying the are victims that need hand outs) like democrats do and its not simply walking away from the problem like some republicans do or for that matter these highschools are doing in the south burbs

dutch said...

I would agree she needs to step down if it is proven that the source is legitimate. It is easy to make an accusation about someone like this, I'd just like to see it verified before she is forced to step down. If it is, she should be gone, no question.

I'm an alum of Lincoln Way and I can say that it is not a hotbed of racial intolerance (at least not ten years ago while I was there). It's true that there is a lack of minority students, but I can not remember a single time I had ever heard or seen any type of improper behavior from anyone (students or teachers).

I do think that the motives for this succession should be discussed, and if the accusations made by the reporter are true, the board member should step down immediately. I just hope the words of one person son't tarnish the reputation of a school or community containing thousands of individuals.

Thanks for the plug by the way, we welcome all the traffic we can get over at the Pen.

tropicana said...

As a sportswriter, who covers these schools, and also, went to one of the schools that is staying, I can say that while this woman may be racist, prejudiced, or whatever you want to label her, that's not actually the reason that the schools are leaving.

Many of the schools (including charter member Bradley-Bourbonnais) aren't getting what they need and want from the conference. If you look at the schools that are leaving, they are not just the richest -- they are the biggest. Being the biggest (and yes, through studies, I know that you could say being the most affluent makes a play here too), they have advantages that most of the other schools don't: Participation in all sports and activities at all levels. I can speak from experience in Bradley's case -- they've fielded freshman, jv and varsity teams (sometimes even two freshman teams in sports like volleyball and baseball) for years, and have never been able to find games for all of their kids.

It's the same thing at the rest of the schools (although I do know that Bradley also had an unspoken motive -- in the regrouping that SICA was going to do, they were going to be, by far, the smallest school in the large school division, and that didn't fly with anyone...they wouldn't have had a winning team in any sport other than baseball). They basically want to have participation for all their kids -- not just in freshman football, but with the JV Mathletes teams, and scholastic bowl teams.

Maybe her motives are true -- in which case she should step down. But the reason the schools are leaving aren't nearly so insidious.

Unfortunately, it leaves me sad...all the schools we had rivalries with are really leaving. It's sad to think that 33 years of tradition are being unravelled because of this, but it is what it is.

ChicagoSlim said...

I'd be happy with the old South Suburban Conference that we had wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy back when I was in school. The Bloom-Thornton rivalry was great!