Hey, do you like education? Do you like keeping teen moms from dropping out of school? Do you like teaching kids about sustainable food and farming? Well, screw you, says the Michigan state government. Catherine Ferguson Academy, the amazing but embattled Detroit public high school that let pregnant teens and young mothers work on an urban farm while continuing their education, has lost its battle to stay open.
Michigan has a new law empowering the state's emergency financial manager to close whatever schools he likes, without votes or input. Catherine Ferguson went right up on the chopping block, probably because educating teens and caring for children and growing food = classic government waste! The students courageously stood up for their school by staging a sit-in, with the result that a dozen teenagers were dragged out of the building and arrested in front of their kids. But the outcry wasnt enough to keep the emergency manager from making the unilateral decision to shutter the school anyway. Stay classy and not at all fascist, Michigan!
What will happen to the girls of Catherine Ferguson? They can go to their local public high schools, of course, but principal Asenath Andrews isn't optimistic. "If the neighborhood school was a really good option, they'd be at the neighborhood school," she told Rachel Maddow, pointing out that some students take three buses in the morning so they can go to Catherine Ferguson instead of their regular high school. We're guessing the displaced students won't be able to maintain the school's 90 percent graduation rate or more than 50 percent college acceptance rate in a high school that doesn't offer child care, personal attention, or preparation on how to be a successful teen mom.