Like a rock

Stephanie Hightower, president of the Columbus, Ohio school board, is taking heat for cursing at a 14-year-old boy who threw a rock at her car when she was driving with her husband and child. Hightower, a former Olympic track star, chased the boy to a nearby YMCA. George Hunter, the program director, stood between Hightower and the boy. The Columbus Dispatch (no free link) reports:

(Hunter) quoted Hightower as saying: “Do you know who I am? You hit my damn car, my f’ing car. I’m the president of your school board. You being a Columbus Public Schools student, it’s embarrassing for this to happen.”

“We were just not going to let her hit him. And (the boy) is the kind that if she hit him, he would have hit her back,” Hunter said.

The argument was moved into an office, where the boy eventually shed tears and admitted he had thrown the rock, Hunter said. The boy then went to another room and wrote Hightower an apology.

“As time went on, she got very calm,” he said, noting they had called the boy’s grandfather instead of police.

“Her language was inappropriate, but she definitely said some things I think (the boy) needed to hear.

“It was the full mom talk. She told him, ‘I’m going to talk to you just like I’d talk to my own son.’ ”

Hightower said yesterday that she was rattled because the rock had thudded loudly against the car window, just inches from her head.

Hightower has apologized for using “inappropriate language.” Her political opponents are accusing her of child abuse.

Too bad the YMCA guy got in the way. I’ll take a 45-year-old woman in high heels over a 14-year-old punk any day.

Thanks to Robert Schwartz for the tip.

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Comments

  1. VULGARITY ALERT!

    Once again, Holy. Shit.

    I think liberalism’s worst crime was convincing people that boys don’t need to be whupped upside the head every now and then.

  2. Fred Drinkwater says:

    About 5 years ago I startled a couple of 13 (?) year olds by stopping my car to berate them after one had thrown a pinecone at my car as I drove past. The two amusing things were the amazed looks on their faces (What? We got called on it for behaving like assholes? That’s not fair!) and the patient look on my son’s face (Dad’s at it again…)

    Even Hillary (gag, choke..) said it takes a village to raise a child. Damn right, especially when the actual parents are AWOL.

  3. Alex Bensky says:

    I am guessing that the angel child’s parents are contemplating suing the woman rather than berating and punishing the student for rude, disgraceful, and dangerous activity.

  4. Andy Freeman says:

    > Even Hillary (gag, choke..) said it takes a village to raise a child.

    She claimed to be quoting an African proverb.

    I wondered if it was Hutu or Tutsi.

    I note that the AA community used to be quite strict with its children, but that stopped in the late 60s.

  5. jeff wright says:

    > I think liberalism’s worst crime was convincing people that boys don’t need to be whupped upside the head every now and then.

    Boy, ain’t that the truth. I still remember when a neighbor marched me home to face the old man’s wrath. You can bet I never did that again. 25 years later, I stopped when a couple of neighborhood teenagers pelted my car with snowballs. I really wasn’t all that po’d, but I assumed my best big-guy persona. Scared the hell out of them. Don’t know if they ever did it to anyone else, but they sure didn’t do it to me. Furthermore, I learned from my dad that projecting the right attitude in the neighborhood works wonders in convincing teenaged boys that it wouldn’t be too wise to fool with my property. Not nasty, not mean, just adult male, which is what teenaged boys need.

  6. I don’t see it as helping to raise my child… I see it as confronting a delinquent.

    As the parent of three kids, I have no problems whatsoever with what Mrs. Hightower did. I’d expect the same if one of my kids were to do something stupid like that.

  7. Hey, if they fire her, let me be the first to invite her over to work at my school district.
    And Jeff, you are most definitely correct. Teenage boys need to know that there is someone bigger that they should be afraid of.

  8. Geoff said: “And Jeff, you are most definitely correct. Teenage boys need to know that there is someone bigger that they should be afraid of.”

    I think it’s more that there is someone that will make them accountable for their actions and expect better from them. Notice in the initial outburst the “inappropriate” words were used to describe her car, not the student. She went on to say that as one of her district’s students, it was embarrassing that he did it. She let him know up front she expected right from him and didn’t back down until he knew full well the consequence of his actions. And, she showed compassion by not calling the police, showing that she understood mistakes can be made, and if the kid understands the mistake and is sorry, there’s room for another chance. Bravo!!!! I bet she earned RESPECT. I hope she gets support from the community.

  9. TJ: Sadly, she will probably be forced to resign her position. Bad enough our school employees are boliged to act as de facto parents, it’s even worse when they actually accept the responsibility. Sued if they do, sued if they don’t.

    Ours is simply not a serious culture.

  10. John Anderson says:

    A rock? That could easily have ended tragically. The most I would require of the woman is an apology – to the kid’s parents, not the kid – for intemperate language. And hope (I almost wrote “trust”, but these days…) the parents devise some form of punishment.

    At least it did not happen in one of the many places which would have had both spend a night in the slammer, with the kid then remanded to an institutional setting for a couple of years.

  11. Why the attacks on “liberalism” when according to the article, the child abuser epithet appears to be politically motivated?

    Hightower herself is a Democrat. There seems to be some jumping to conclusions here.