The Hinsdale Police Department is keeping its eye on emails being sent to District 86 administration regarding the Hinsdale South movie controversy and making sure they don't "venture into the realm of threatening," Deputy Chief Kevin Simpson said this week.
Simpson summed up the situation in an emailed statement to Patch:
"The police department has been working closely with [District 86] administration following the receipt of many emails from the public regarding the content of movies that were being shown within the classroom," Simpson said. "There is on-going investigation regarding the content of the emails which precludes my discussion of its details; however, I can confirm that there is no imminent threat to the safety of the school or the students based upon what has been reported."
The movies Simpson is referring to are the R-rated films, "American Beauty" and "Brokeback Mountain," which are being shown in a Film as Literature course at Hinsdale South and are the subject of the first curriculum objection from a parent in the eight years District 86 Superintendent Nick Wahl has been with the district.
According to District 86 Superintendent Nicholas Wahl, the district is not working with police in Darien, where Hinsdale South is located. It's only working with Hinsdale Police to monitor emails on this issue.
READ: District Responds to 'Highly Controversial' Films Complaint
Burr Ridge resident and father of two Victor Casini said he was shocked when he looked at his son’s Film as Literature course syllabus recently and saw that students in the class would be viewing, among other films, “American Beauty” and “Brokeback Mountain.”
Casini called the two films “highly controversial” for their sexual imagery and obscenity.
“There are thousands of movies that could be utilized to achieve the teaching objective without venturing into this area that has a good number, if not a majority, of parents upset,” Casini said.
Casini brought the issue to the attention of the District 86 Board of Education at its Sept. 10 meeting.
READ: 'Highly Controversial' Movies Being Shown in Class Have D86 Parent Concerned
Simpson, the deputy chief, said there are "a lot" of emails coming into the district regarding the movies, which houses its administration near Hinsdale Central in Hinsdale. None, at this point, have been identified as threatening.
The movie issue is expected to be further discussed at Monday's board meeting.