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.