Elementary school has student escort stranger. Guess what happens?

Unbelievably stupid and beyond creepy. If your school or system has a similar policy, I suggest you work to get it changed immediately.

The Washington (DC) Examiner reports:

An elementary school student who said she was molested by a male visitor had been told by Ketcham Elementary School employees to escort the man through the building, according to police.

A spokeswoman for D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson told The Washington Examiner that DCPS does permit schools to use students as escorts “based on the schools’ need” but is now reviewing that policy.

Metropolitan Police Department Chief Cathy Lanier said on WTOP-FM’s “Ask the Chief” program that a black man in his late 20s entered the Southeast D.C. school Wednesday afternoon and asked to speak to someone. The girl was assigned to escort the man through the building, where he inappropriately touched her. Police are searching for the man, and the investigation is ongoing.

School officials in Fairfax, Montgomery and Arlington counties said they do not allow elementary students to chaperone visitors through school hallways. Other neighboring districts did not respond to requests for comment.

D.C. Council Chairman Kwame Brown said he was “greatly concerned” by the incident.

“By no means would I want my daughter giving any adult a tour to an absolute stranger,” Brown told The Examiner.

District parents said they were horrified by the incident — particularly how the elementary school student was allowed alone with a stranger. And the reverberations were felt far beyond Ketcham.

Read more.

Georgia college rankings

Since decision time is near for many high school seniors, I’m reposting this quick and dirty list of Georgia colleges based on U.S. News and World Report’s rankings.

The U.S. News college rankings are in. Yay! Or Boo!

The rankings are constantly derided, overly hyped, and of dubious value in choosing a college. Inside Higher Ed reports that fewer college presidents participated this year. Who cares? It’s time to see how your school stacks up in the imaginary world built upon arbitrary data! Let’s do this thing!

I’ve combed through the listings to see where Georgia colleges fall, and some have fallen. Georgia Southwestern University, which made the regional university rankings last year, is gone.  Wait ’til next year, Hurricanes!

National Universities


Surprise! Harvard is No. 1. And then yada, yada down the Ivy League list, with no significant changes from last year among the elite. Emory University (20) remains the highest-ranked Georgia school, maintaining its Top Twenty position for the 19thconsecutive year.  Georgia Tech slipped a notch, from 35 to 36.  The University of Georgia fell several spots, dropping from 56 to 62. The Bulldogs are knotted in a six-way tie with Northeastern, Purdue, Southern Methodist, Syracuse, and Worcester Technical Institute, and … brace yourself, are now only one spot ahead of that conniving Clemson University, which got caught gaming the rankings system last year.

Liberal Arts Colleges


Williams College takes the top spot and Northestern schools fill out most of the Top Twenty. Unfortunately, Georgia doesn’t have a top-ranked co-ed liberal arts college. Women, who dominate the college rolls, have more options in the Peach State, with the top two LA colleges being female-only: Atlanta’s Spelman College (62–also the nation’s top-ranking historically black college) and Decatur’s Agnes Scott College (68).  The state’s other three ranked LAs are Rome’s Berry College (121), Macon’s Wesleyan College (151), and Atlanta’s Oglethorpe University (157).

Regional Universities


Florida’s Rollins College is No. 1. Mercer University (9), the state’s only Top Twenty school in this classification, slipped a notch from last year’s #8 ranking.  Other schools making the grade: Brenau University (29); Georgia College and State University (36–down four spots from last year); North Georgia College and State University (56); Demorest’s Piedmont College (60);  Kennesaw State University (61); Valdosta State University (71); and Southern Polytechnic State University (85).

Regional Colleges


John Brown University in Arkansas is No. 1. LaGrange College holds on to its No. 6 rank in the regional small college category. Lookout Mountain’s Covenant College (7) is Georgia’s other Top Twenty small college.  Congratulations to Gainesville State College, Fort Valley State University, and Georgia Gwinnett College for making the rankings this year. Here’s the rest of the list: Toccoa Falls College (38); Reinhardt (43); Gainesville State (49); Clayton State (52); Fort Valley State (58); Paine College (63); Emanuel College (65); Georgia Gwinnett (70).

Historically Black Colleges


Spelman is No. 1.  Its next-door neighbor, all-male Morehouse College, is No. 3, behind Washington D.C.’s Howard Unviersity.  A third member of the Atlanta University community, Clark-Atlanta University, is ranked No. 17. Fort Valley State and Albany State are tied at No. 31. What’s up with that? Fort Valley is also ranked among regional colleges. Not so with Albany State. So by my reckoning, Wildcats rule! (Disclosure Note: I attended Fort Valley State, and both my parents worked there. But still. It’s obvious. Come on.)

Of course, you could always check out the rankings for yourself. Go ahead. Go there. Do that


Although you shot at me twice before I left you …

 One of the most interesting facets of African-American history is that there’s so much of it. I’m not being facetious—what I mean is that there is a wonderfully and surprisingly large body of documents and first-person accounts by black Americans dating back to the Colonial times. I say surprisingly because many people think that, up until recently, black people didn’t have a voice. Well, they always had a voice—it’s just that the media, and society as whole, didn’t listen. Escaped slaves wrote books and letters. There was also a thriving black press. But up until very recently, mainstream America ignored these sources. When my father started work on The Way It Was in the South: The Black Experience in Georgia (a project starting in the 1970s and spanning over 20 years), he relied heavily on black accounts.

We’re still discovering and unearthing these resources. Here’s one, brought to you by Letters of Note. It’s a letter written by an escaped slave to his former master in the aftermath of the Civil War. The old owner has asked him to return to Tennessee to work at his old plantation. The letter is priceless, and contains one of the greatest closing lines I’ve ever seen.

From Letters of Note:

 In August of 1865, a Colonel P.H. Anderson of Big Spring, Tennessee, wrote to his former slave, Jourdan Anderson, and requested that he come back to work on his farm. Jourdan — who, since being emancipated, had moved to Ohio, found paid work, and was now supporting his family — responded spectacularly by way of the letter seen below (a letter which, according to newspapers at the time, he dictated).

Dayton, Ohio,
August 7, 1865

To My Old Master, Colonel P.H. Anderson, Big Spring, Tennessee

Sir: I got your letter, and was glad to find that you had not forgotten Jourdon, and that you wanted me to come back and live with you again, promising to do better for me than anybody else can. I have often felt uneasy about you. I thought the Yankees would have hung you long before this, for harboring Rebs they found at your house. I suppose they never heard about your going to Colonel Martin’s to kill the Union soldier that was left by his company in their stable. Although you shot at me twice before I left you, I did not want to hear of your being hurt, and am glad you are still living. It would do me good to go back to the dear old home again, and see Miss Mary and Miss Martha and Allen, Esther, Green, and Lee. Give my love to them all, and tell them I hope we will meet in the better world, if not in this. I would have gone back to see you all when I was working in the Nashville Hospital, but one of the neighbors told me that Henry intended to shoot me if he ever got a chance. 

You’ll be missing out if you don’t read this letter to the end. Continue reading.