Statement from Dr. Kelley Regarding the Recent Hate Speech Incidents at OPRF and the Community Conversation on Nov. 7

Dear District 97 Families and Staff,
I, like so many of you, am incredibly disheartened and dismayed by the acts of hate speech that have taken place at Oak Park and River Forest High School in recent days. However, we cannot allow these deplorable acts to distract or dissuade us from the important work being done throughout Oak Park to promote tolerance, equity and togetherness. We stand in solidarity with our friends and colleagues from OPRF during this challenging time, and will do everything we can to support them and their efforts to heal their school community. With this in mind, we encourage everyone who has time and is available to attend tonight's event at the high school titled "Community Conversation about Hate Crimes in Our Community: Coming Together for Change." You can access additional information about the event, which is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. in the South Cafeteria, by visiting
We realize that this event conflicts with the Middle School Instrumental Music Festival that is also being held at the high school this evening. Unfortunately, it would have been impossible from a logistical standpoint to reschedule the concert. Furthermore, we did not want these incidents to rob our students of an opportunity they have been working toward for months. While we were unable to reschedule the concert, our outstanding instrumental music teachers are committed to doing whatever they can to allow our students and their families to enjoy the performance and also attend the community conversation. You can learn more about what they have planned by visiting
Thank you very much for your time and attention to this important matter. Despite the anger, hurt and heartache we may be feeling following these incidents, I am confident that, if we stick together, we will rise above them and realize the better tomorrow we have and will continue to fight for on a daily basis. 
Dr. Carol Kelley