The Ballou We Know (Ballou Story Project #5) (Paperback)
On December 15, 2017, a busload of students from Ballou High School traveled to the Wilson Building in downtown Washington, DC, with a singular purpose: to defend their school. They brought typed testimonials to read aloud before the DC City Council; they brought passion, composure, and steely reserve. A few weeks earlier their school had become the focus of a media storm alleging that their recent triumph--of every graduate's acceptance into college--was undeserved. Suddenly their story was no longer about celebration, but condemnation, and the Ballou community felt unfairly maligned. The ensuing months brought citywide investigations, removals of leadership, and heated debate about policies across the school system.
This book is not about that debate.
This book is about the young people who showed up in that courtroom. This book is about their perspectives, their frustrations, their ambitions, and their pride. These young people initiated the writing of this book. They wanted to illuminate the Ballou not often represented in the media--one full of love, hard work, and transformation. They set their mission: to change the story about their school and the people who call it home. To combat stereotypes and assumptions. To motivate the next generation to persevere, and to believe in themselves, no matter what.
Most importantly, these young people wanted to speak for themselves, not to be spoken about. They remind us that there are many sides to every story, and that all voices should be valued and heard. "This is our last line of defense," they write. "These are our stories. This is the Ballou We Know."