Plan to hire consultant, reading withdrawal letter hurt D86

The last two years have been very difficult. The stress caused by the pandemic has splintered our school community. Knowing this, we should strive to meet each other on common ground, not engage in conduct that drives us further apart. For this reason, it was wrong for D86 to consider hiring The Valbrun Consulting Group as a diversity, inclusion and equity consultant. It was likewise wrong for Superintendent Prentiss to share Valbrun’s withdrawal letter at the recent D86 BOE meeting and in a districtwide mailing.

Valbrun’s values, as demonstrated through public statements and publicly available social media posts, are not representative of what should be the goal of our community: working together, respecting each other, finding common ground. These values were questioned by some in our community, prompting Valbrun’s withdrawal after writing an unnecessarily divisive letter.

Superintendent Prentiss asked Valbrun for permission and shared the letter without context or verification of Valbrun’s claims. There was no acknowledgment of Valbrun’s alienating posts or the numerous letters sent by community members stating their concerns. Sharing Valbrum’s letter in this manner served no purpose but to promote further division within our community.


Lack of professionalism. Lack of goodwill. Dangerous. These are some of the words Valbrun used to describe our community, but these terms more aptly describe its own behavior. In the future, D86 should focus on hiring companies that value transparency and engaging others. Our superintendent should defend our community rather than assisting others in dragging it through the mud. — Leah and Mark Torsberg, Hinsdale