Editor's note: The outrage over an Illinois school administrator's decision to cancel a girls' basketball team's trip to Arizona has attracted nationwide attention. George Fornero, superintendent of District 113 in Illinois, which oversees Highland Park High School, defended the decision by Assistant Superintendent Suzan Hebson and said it was not a political statement in response to Arizona's new law. The following is from a discussion about the school's decision to cancel the trip to Arizona as discussed on Fox News Channel on May 13.
"AMERICA LIVE" HOST, MEGYN KELLY:
You have advice for these girls, what is it?
FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR/FORMER ALASKA GOV. SARAH PALIN:
[The Illinois school district's decision is] probably the most outrageous school district decision I've heard in quite some time.
I want these girls to feel empowered and "go rogue" if they must. Figure out a way to protest a decision like this and figure out a way to get there on their own. If it can be done, not being sanctioned by the school, [they should still go to] this tournament. Look at the lady hoopsters, they're told no ball in Arizona, because, Arizona isn't, as they said "aligned with the beliefs and values" of, I guess, their school district. Yet, their school district blessed the student trips to China!
So that what they're saying there is, that our sister state Arizona, it doesn't share our beliefs and values. But China, known for its human rights violations, and it's anti-girl policies, does share their values? This is absolutely unbelievable. I say let the girls play ball. Keeping the girls off the basketball court for purely political reasons, it's not right. and you know, for me, hearing the words, those are fighting words.
We are going to do all that we can to shed more light on what this political issue is, this Arizona boycott. It's going to hurt everybody in Arizona, including the Hispanic community. And it's not a solution to the problem. The problem is how are we going to secure our borders. Keeping girls off the basketball court has nothing to do with the solution that we need to find!
What these girls are going to find as they grow up and enter sort of real life and family and career they are going to find that everything they ever needed to know they will have learned on the basketball court. They will have learned teamwork, and leadership skills, they will have learned goal setting and self-discipline and personal responsibility, and they will have learned how to plow through the opponent, a full-court press, perhaps, that is adversarial and picking at you and trying to make decisions for you to get you off your game. They are going to learn how to plow through that and those lessons will be able to be applied in their future lives.
At a time like this, for these girls who are already honing those skills and learning those things, to have something stripped away from them that's based on nonsense -- because the school district's ruling is nonsense -- it makes no sense that Arizona, the people of Arizona, essentially are being boycotted, because they don't share their "values and beliefs," it does strip away much from these girls. But I think that they will find within themselves that empowerment, that ability to stand up for what they believe in. and as we've heard from so many of these girls and their parents, even though some of them may agree or disagree with the law that Governor Brewer signed into law, [is that] they still have that right to speak up and to stand for what they believe in. And I think that those girls are going to feel empowered here in these coming days and do exactly that.
Let the girls play ball!