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Ninety-Five Percent of CCS Students Have Parents Who Have Been Incarcerated

Miriam Bowers Abbott Miriam Bowers Abbott Ninety-Five Percent of CCS Students Have Parents Who Have Been Incarcerated
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In terms of local media, All Sides is a well-regarded radio program. Aired weekdays on WOSU, listeners can usually find a thoughtful and provocative collection of thoughts from experts and guests.

On the education scene, it’s hard to beat today’s disclosure from guest Stephanie Hightower. The program title was The Challenges of Fatherhood in the Inner City. Hightower was representing the Columbus Urban League, and she also happens to be a member of the Columbus Education Commission. This is what she said:

“When you look at the Columbus City Schools, there is over a 95 percent of those children who have fathers or mothers that have been incarcerated at one point in time.”

This news will come as a surprise to many parents of children at Columbus City Schools. In fact, most parents of CCS students won’t recall consenting to a background or criminal record check.

On the social media scene, the quote yielded responses from parents such as, “Now that I know I’m in the 5%, maybe we should pull our kid and flee to the suburbs. Is that what she’s pushing for?” And, “No wonder the folks at my place of work look at me like I have crabs coming out of my ears when I tell them my kids go to CCS.”

Of course they look at you funny. You just told them you’ve done time in the Big House; they’re looking for your teardrop tattoo.

But, would a member of the Columbus Education Commission be wrong about something like that? You’d hate to think that a team that’s steeped in all that education research could be horrifically misguided.

If it’s true, it explains the oddly high suspension rate – what else would administrators expect from the spawn of cons? (sarcasm) It also explains parent complaints about being disregarded and excluded – why would politicians and administrators respect the views of a population of ex-convicts?

And if Hightower is wrong? It’s still telling. It tells CCS parents exactly how some members of the Education Commission see them. Forget about your college education. Forget about your volunteer service or the fact that you’ve never even gotten a speeding ticket. If you send your kid to CCS, the perception is that there’s a 95% chance that you’re an ex-criminal.

To watch or listen to the show, visit http://wosu.org/2012/allsides/.

To read more updates on Columbus City School Issues, CLICK HERE.

For more ongoing discussion on the Columbus Education Commission, CLICK HERE.

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