Dad Who Fought Sex-Heavy Movies in School Running for D86 Board

Three of the four current members up for re-election filed their papers to run in April along with three challengers, two of whom have names you may recognize.

The Hinsdale South parent who filed a curriculum objection with District 86 over the showing of American Beauty and Brokeback Mountain this fall filed papers Monday to enter the board of education race, according to district administration.

Victor Casini, who first spoke to the board in September about his opposition to the movies being show in a Hinsdale South film class and later filed a formal objection with Superintendent Nick Wahl, was one of six people who filed to run Monday, the first day candidates could do so. The filing period for the April 9 ballot ends Dec. 26.

Three of the four current board members whose terms expire in April were among the first-day filers, according to assistant to the superintendent Meredith Lannert. Claudia Manley, who ran in 2010 as part of the slate that included Richard Skoda and Bruce Davidson, also filed.

The six candidates who filed Monday, Lannert said, were:

  • Jennifer Babbington of Darien
  • Victor Casini of Burr Ridge
  • Claudia Manley of Darien 
  • Dennis Brennan of Hinsdale (incumbent)
  • Deirdre “DeeDee” Gorgol of Willowbrook (incumbent) 
  • Kay Gallo of Clarendon Hills (incumbent)

Babbington, Casini and Manley filed simultaneously, Lannert said. That means the order in which those three names will appear on the ballot will be determined by a lottery.

The three incumbents filed later in the day, in the order above. 

For more on Casini's objection, see the links below:

  • D86 Movie Controversy: Parent's Appeal Goes Before Board Monday
  • READ: D86 Parent Appealing Superintendent's Ruling on Objection to Sex-Heavy Movies
  • READ: How Does a Curriculum Objection Work in District 86?
  • D86 Board Decision on Racy Movies Not What Most Audience Members Wanted
  • Complaints About Sex-Heavy Films in School Prompt Cops to Review District Emails

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There are plenty of ways to keep up on local news:

Proud Teacher December 17, 2012 at 11:07 PM
I am very excited about Mr. Casini's candidacy. He is a former member of the Gower School Board, where current D86 Board Member Jennifer Planson is still also a Member. As a member of that Board, Mr. Casini reviewed the full range of school district issues, and demonstrated a comprehensive understanding for all of them. He will make a much-needed contribution on all issues that confront the District 86 Board.
Floyd bellman December 18, 2012 at 01:12 AM
Mr.Casini has my support. It's time for change. The unchecked progressive agenda by the school and a few teachers and a few board members using the school to support an agenda rather than to teach is inexcusable.
William Regnery December 18, 2012 at 04:15 PM
I am having trouble determining if you people are being serious or sarcastic? Hinsdale needs sophisticated, thoughtful, service-oriented school board members working in an effort to help educate and enlighten our community not narrow-minded, puritanical, zealots attempting to plunge it back into the dark ages. Perhaps there is a spot for Victor Casini in the Tea Party but certainly not on the school board of an educated and progressive (in the best sense of the word) community.
Proud Teacher December 19, 2012 at 03:52 AM
". . . [S]ophisticated, thoughtful, service-oriented school board members". These are exactly the qualities Mr Casini exhibited during his four years of service to the Gower School District. Have you any familiarity with the sophistication, thoughtfulness, or service-orientation of the current D86 Board majority? It is the strongest ad for Mr Casini's candidacy. Don't know what you read (or where) about Mr Casini's complaint, but it was hardly as you describe it. It was the Administration's and Board's failure even to discuss its own policies that lacked sophistication, thoughtfulness, or concern for the community. There was a simple solution to the problem that was neither puritanical, narrow-minded, nor zealous - and Mr Casini never sought more. The two schools (Central and South) offered the same course, with two vastly different syllabi. All the school had to do was offer each syllabus at each school. Very simple - and not nearly as expensive as the $25 Million air-conditioning folly the District indulged itself with over last summer. This teacher would rather see money spent on curriculum choice - not government mandated morals lessons in English class.
Sue Pircon December 19, 2012 at 02:40 PM
Proud Teacher, "expensive... folly" You fail to mention the so-called indulgence you refer to also included an enhanced security system at both campuses. As I recall you considered this unnecessary and a waste of taxpayer money. Your message is quite clear, you would just like to see a zero investment in our schools and students.
Proud Teacher December 19, 2012 at 05:37 PM
"[A]n enhanced security system at both campuses" - you mean the system that was delayed in favor of over-runs on the plastic-grass fields four or five years ago? Did you know Newtown schools had just instituted a brand new enhanced security system, just before the shootings there? Guy shot out the window, and shot the person manning the system. Do we now have a system that will defeat that tactic? The "folly" I mentioned - since you didn't read my comment very carefully - was the air-conditioning. Yup - would spend money on curriculum before I would spend it on air-conditioning. Sorry you have a different priority.
Sue Pircon December 19, 2012 at 09:24 PM
Yes I have very different priorities. I believe as a community we need to nurture the entire child…mind, body and spirit. It is important to keep a challenging curriculum for our students but also be aware of the needs of our more vulnerable population. We need to keep our students engaged in the school community through activities and athletics, teach them the importance of fair play and team work. I believe that expanding student opportunities though the installation of new fields to allow more participation on athletic teams is important. I also feel that we should provide our students with the tools to be successful and if that means installing air conditioning, then it’s important. I strongly believe in investing in our future, and that future is our children. Our schools need to concentrate on more than the academic success of students, but on the student as an individual. And we need to do all this while staying financially solvent. I agree with Mr. Regnery, our community needs board members that are thoughtful and service-oriented, putting students first. Our schools are facing some tough times ahead and we need broad thinking individuals to serve on our boards, not individuals looking to advance their own agendas. And your comment regarding the security at our school, God help us if we are ever in a situation to have it tested.
Proud Teacher December 20, 2012 at 12:47 AM
"I believe as a community we need to nurture the entire child…mind, body and spirit. It is important to keep a challenging curriculum for our students but also be aware of the needs of our more vulnerable population." Probably does sum up our differences pretty well. I think (except for academic curriculum) these are largely family functions. I do not relish the State taking over our bodies and souls (or spirits, to use your word). You think "It Takes A Village"; I think it takes strong families and individuals. When the State controls our spiritual growth, dependence on the State, and concomitant loss of liberty, follows.
Teaching Pro December 21, 2012 at 06:48 PM
I'm just hopeful that Casini and his band will have the guts to campaign on the issues that they think are important. Too often, a certain group runs in our district and they claim that they are for the students but they actually seem to represent a far right extreme group. "I don't want anyone watching movies, I find distasteful". "We don't need the turf fields at either school". "We don't need the security enhancements at either school". "We need a zero tax levy and we should cut sports and clubs instead of taxing new construction property". These are some of the thoughts spewed by this extreme group sitting in the minority of the board and now running to take control of Central and South. Those are the views but they won't run on those views.
Proud Teacher December 23, 2012 at 03:36 PM
You use quotation marks. Can you cite actual quotes from Mr. Casini - or are you blowing smoke out your campaign? Have heard of Alexander's Ragtime Band, but not Casini's. Care to identify who is in this group you've fabricated? And, while you're at it, how about distinguishing the Dennis Brennan sock puppets - who never, ever waiver from voting at his command? They're OK because they're at the far left (tax-and-spend) extreme?
Duncan Idaho December 24, 2012 at 05:46 AM
Indeed, none of us should vote for Casini. We don't need his head in the sand mentality with respect to the realities of life. On a side note, Proud Teacher has strong feelings and seems to really enjoy the drama, and now I'm concerned that this person is actually a real teacher..
Teaching Pro December 25, 2012 at 05:28 AM
Sure: Jennifer Babbington, Richard skoda, Dianne Barrett, Victor Casini, Claudia Manley, Bruce Davidson. Those quotes represent the views of the group, right?


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