For those living in Houston, which High School would you consider the most dangerous? Which one is the one that is allowing students to transfer because it has been termed “persistently dangerous”? I’d bet your first 10-20 guesses are wrong. The school is Cypress Ridge in the Cy-Fair School District.

There is a new rule under “No Child Left Behind” allowing states to make their own criteria on what schools are termed “persistently dangerous”:

“In Texas, schools are considered persistently dangerous if they report three or more mandatory expulsion incidents per 1,000 students in each of the previous three years. The rules give equal weight to alcohol violations, assaults, arson and murder.

Sophomore Kouazou Njowo said she’s shocked that her seemingly well-regarded school made the list, while others, such as Westbury High School in Houston, where there was a rape and riot this year, didn’t. (from the Houston Chronicle story (online version no longer available)

They say that 80% of the instances at the school are drug related and that a lot of those are people with medication that do not let the school nurse handle it. However, the actual criteria lists “felony controlled substance”…either they are minimizing the drug abuse problems in the press or the school is reporting minor incidents as felonies, it seems. The last quotation from Ms. Njowo says it all to me. In hindsight, maybe this criteria could have been a bit more specific. I guess making it more subjective could be a bad thing, though.

Side note: This article struck me mostly because I was zoned to Westbury HS (but attended elsewhere because it was “unofficially persistently dangerous”)