In Hinsdale, Tea Party takes an axe to their teachers.


Tea Party Hinsdale school board member Claudia Manley.

Hey folks. Keep an eye on those local school board elections.

Out in Chicago’s western suburbs the Tea Party extremists who were recently elected to the Hinsdale High School District 86 are in full battle mode over what should be normal contract bargaining.

Instead it has been turned into a holy war on the teachers union.

We’ve been following this story as a warning that low turnout for school board elections combined with Koch brothers money makes for a terrible mix for education.

The latest story has two major players, Rick Skoda and Claudia Manley. You know Rick Skoda already. He’s the one who wants to talk about Karen Lewis and the CTU instead of negotiate with teachers. As you know, Karen has other things on her mind than two high schools in Hinsdale.

Claudia Manley is a part of the new board majority in District 86. Her husband is Noel Manley, a local Republican operative.

When the Hinsdale Patch, a local internet news site, posted some news about District 86 negotiations, it got reposted on the Hinsdale teachers Facebook page. As often happens, some unrelated photo got posted with the story.

The Patch later explained and apologized.

On August 1, a story regarding the latest developments in teacher contract negotiations between the Hinsdale High School Teachers Association and Dist. 86 school board was posted on the Hinsdale-Clarendon Hills, Darien and Burr Ridge Patch sites. The story, “Teachers: ‘Board Gave Us An Hour’ To Rescind Strike Vote,” was illustrated with the HHSTA union logo.

Unfortunately, when the teachers’ association posted the story on its Facebook page, the image of an ax in a car dashboard appeared instead. This was an Internet glitch on Patch’s part, which was happening to Patch Facebook pages across the country.

The ax image did appear on a Massachusetts Patch story about an ax falling off a truck and crashing through a woman’s car windshield.

Some readers, when seeing the image of an ax with the story link on the HHSTA Facebook page, construed it as an editorial statement made by the teachers. The teachers’ association DID NOT intentionally post this image to make a statement.

Patch apologizes to the HHSTA, the Dist. 86 Board of Education and to our readers for any alarm this image may have caused and we accept full responsibility for the glitch. ~ Lorraine Swanson, Editor

But Manley, Skoda and local Tea Party Republicans seized on the internet glitch and began an email chain accusing the teachers of posting the axe as a threat to Claudia and the rest of the board.


From: Noel Manley []
Sent: Saturday, August 02, 2014 7:19 AM
To: ‘Noel Manley’
Subject: District 86 Update – Unfortunate Facebook Posting by the Union

Below is an image from and link to the Hinsdale High School Teachers’ Association’s Facebook page. Unhappily there is a photo of automobile with an ax through the window. Immediate reaction from the union has been that it was a mistake to place it on its page. However, what is disturbing are the comments endorsing and suggesting what should be done with the Board. It is disappointing and outrageous that this is type of behavior is directed at our Board from its highly compensated education professionals. Please go to the page as soon as possible to view the image and review the comments and the ‘likes’ this matter has illicited. Oddly enough as of the writing of this email the posting is still on the site.

Then there was this from Tea Party Republican Committeewoman Elaine Zannis.

From: Elaine Zannis <>
To: Elaine Zannis <>
Sent: Monday, August 4, 2014 7:59 AM
Subject: District 86 Update – Board Meeting – August 4, 2014 – Hinsdale South High School

This is a very important meeting for Hinsdale Central’s School Board.

They are in the process of union negotiations – is it becoming very difficult! The union is going to BUS IN agitators & hecklers to intimidate the school board. We worked very hard to elect INDEPENDENT MINDED BOARD MEMBERS that would not be manipulated by unions. They need our support.

If you have time — PLEASE ATTEND. You don’t have to comment, you don’t have to be vocal —- JUST BE THERE — and watch —-. The meeting starts at 7. I will be there are 6:45. Please forward this email —-

Thank You!

Elaine Zannis
York Township, Precinct 119

Bus in agitators?

Who and from where?

Anarchists from Clarendon Hills.

8 thoughts on “In Hinsdale, Tea Party takes an axe to their teachers.

  1. They’re upset by the ax through the windshield? Isn’t that exactly what they are trying to do to the HHSTA?

  2. You have pointed out a distressing reality in the happy suburbs. The last school board election was during a mid-term election cycle, so only the extremists got out the vote. The silent majority is now paying for their apathy. We will not make that mistake in the next election.

    1. I doubt all this is due to a “mistake” of not voting. I believe it’s more due to what I posted yesterday…….”My wife keeps saying that most people are busy keeping food on the table, a roof to put the table under and keeping their job to be cognizant of all the BS that is being done to all of us under the guise of looking out for the common man. Almost all of the news media today is propaganda. You have to dig to find out what is really going on—like your writings (Fred), DemocracyNow and a few others. Having said that. It doesn’t take a lot to get things moving in the right direction, but we can’t let up because the 1% will do anything (kill, maim, watch kids get blown up or shot in their classrooms) for money!”

  3. I attended last night’s meeting. It was a shameful display of Skoda, Manley and Corcoran attempting to justify their actions during negotiations. They chose to debate every citizen who voiced an opposing view during public comment. Skoda chastised BOE memeber Gallo for leaving a lengthy closed session meeting, He demanded an explanation and she told him that during the meeting she was notified that her sister had died. Skoda continued with his inquisition rather than appologizing or offering condolences. The entire meeting was an embarrassment to the citizens of D86. If this is a preview of the “new Republican Party” I may have to change my voting pattern after 40 years.

  4. WHAT kind of madness is this?! Hard to believe, but the 1% have reached a new low.
    Only in ILL-Annoy, folks, only in ILL-Annoy.*

    *Whoops–unfortunately, not! Read Diane Ravitch’s Blog, NYC Educator, Reclaim Reform,
    Jersey Jazzman, Edushyster, both Mike Klonsky blogs, to see what other Bizarro Worlds exist in these her Untied (NOT a typo!) States of America.

    Then,DO something about it–run for office, donate $$$ to good people running for office anyplace, pushback, opt your kids out of testing…VOTE in these sleepy school board elections (before there’s a politically appointed board although, when you DON’T vote, look what happens–Hinsdale, Park Ridge…). Yes, WE can…yes we DID (Will Guzzardi)…& yes, a thousand time yes…we WILL (run, Karen, run!).

  5. Skoda is a joke. Skoda is a man who had no problem taking money from the District where he was employed as a teacher. Had no problem taking giant increases before his retirement. He now collects six figures in retirement dollars and yet is trying to keep teachers from receiving the same bonuses he has received? Maybe he should consider handing back some of that money he took from the District he worked in. He could go house to house and give them back their $20 bucks. I think we can all agree he has enough income to do that. Skoda was also a union member was he not? Funny how once he got what he wanted, he easily turns the tables.
    Families of District 86 pay attention. I guarantee your property values will go down as both of these High Schools go down due to lack of motivated and quality teachers. I’ve heard more than once that the families who live in Lyons Township District are beyond excited to get the teachers, educators, etc. who jumped ship from District 86. Maybe it’s time to for me to move my family where education is a priority. Can’t say I’ll jump on the LT car sticker bandwagon however it’s better than watching my children’s education go in the toilet. Good Luck

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