When students excel despite their schools, not because of them

I was recently invited to be one of several judges at a community poetry slam that took place at Fort Hayes. There was a lot on the line: a pair of tickets to “Hamilton” for the winners (both youth and adult competitions), which in 2019 is a lot like winning a Willy Wonka gold ticket.

In the youth slam there was a poet whose piece made me sit up straight in my seat. At first, I thought the poem merely possessed an alarming complexity for a high school effort. As the student continued performing, it became apparent that it wasn’t just good for a high school poet. By the end of the night, I determined that he had perhaps delivered the best poem of the entire night.

Driving home, I considered that the poet was a student at what would have been my alma mater, Columbus Alternative High School, a school from which I was expelled. This was back when CAHS was considered special, a mill that churned out talented and bright futures as a matter of course.

And then I considered that, as I write this, CAHS is literally falling apart.

Read the rest of Scott Woods' column at Columbus Alive.


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