How do parents choose the right school for their children?

The Center For Collaborative Journalism (CCJ) faculty, staff and students joined The Telegraph and GPB in a community engagement project that began in 2016 to examine our community’s experience with the nationwide trend of racial resegregation in schools.

We held public forums to explore the history of public education in Macon-Bibb and surrounding counties to better understand this trend and to hear from community members.

They discussed the current problems and talked about possible solutions. Over the last two months, CCJ video and audio students worked in teams to revisit some of the voices we heard in the project’s community forums.

Students interviewed members of Monroe, Jones and Macon-Bibb counties. They began with the question, “What was your experience with race and schools?” The subjects provided varied perspectives, personal stories, and their hopes for the future of race and education in Middle Georgia.

Watch their stories below.

Glenda Earwood Smith

Elzabeth Tammi, Center for Collaborative Journalism

Glenda Earwood Smith, the former dean of students at Wesleyan College, believes Macon has a good public school system that has improved under its current leader.

Ann Tift

Noemi Griffin and Jessica Lee, Center for Collaborative Journalism

Ann Tift and her husband sent their four children to Stratford Academy. Tift urges we shift the blame for education inequality away from private schools.

Kristin Hanlon

Adelia Henderson and Jade Thompson, Center for Collaborative Journalism

Kristin Hanlon's family made a strategic purchase in the Rutland zone in 1999 to send her children to the public school of her choice.

Sloan Oliver

Dylan Malamala and Sam Jacobs, Center for Collaborative Journalism

Sloan Oliver reflected on public education. Oliver lived in Macon-Bibb county but moved to Monroe County because of the quality of education.

Christie Freeman

Jastine Alaan and Jiali Chen, Center for Collaborative Journalism

Christie Freeman is a mother of five raising one child of a different race. Freeman wants to raise her children in a diverse, integrated setting.

Kelly Neal

Mitch Jaugstetter and Paige Hill, Center for Collaborative Journalism

Kelly Neal works in Macon but lives in Jones County so her two children with intellectual disabilities can attend a public school that can accommodate them.

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