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Did you hear the one about the tiger at the prom? It’s not a joke:

Students at a private Catholic school in Miami will remember their wild prom night for the caged tiger.

The big cat was among a menagerie of exotic animals brought to amuse Christopher Columbus High School students at Friday night’s jungle-themed dance, but it had the opposite effect, according local reports.

Maria-Cris Castellanos, whose brother reportedly attends the elite school, decried the stunt as animal abuse, WTVJ-TV in Miami reported. She took her outrage online with footage of the stressed-out tiger pacing in its cramped cage amid pounding music, flashing lights and a performer juggling fire.

“How shameful for Christopher Columbus High school,” Castellanos wrote in a Facebook post, blaming staff at the all-boys school for the stunt.

I have no idea whether the tiger felt abused in this situation – I leaning towards it being torture. Then again, maybe I’m projecting how I’d feel about being dragged to a modern prom, caged or otherwise.

There is abuse in education though, unequivocal abuse.

At first glance, I thought the associated “Florida school” headline referred to a government school. It doesn’t. Christopher Columbus is a private, Catholic academy and, according to Wikipedia, one of the top 50 such schools in the country. They also rate rather well on Great Schools, with an average four out of five stars.

CC does not appear in the latest high school rankings from US News and World Report. Many private schools, and more than a few smaller, public institutions, failed to make the listings. The ones that did make it serve as confirmation of recent findings of the failure and fraud in our schools. A snapshot of a randomly selected high school:

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USN.

The same school boasts an 83% graduation rate. That despite the ultra-low percentages in math and reading proficiency and in college readiness. That’s abuse.

Take a look at those rankings. Search out your particular school of concern. And concerns you should have. If a school isn’t in the top ten percent in the state, there’s probably a problem.

I wonder if the tiger pitied the students?

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