It’s back-to-school week in California, but one celebrity’s kids are heading to a new school this fall.
Cindy Crawford pulled her two children out of their high school ahead of the back-to-school sweep, citing concerns over their health and safety at the Malibu, Calif., institution.
The supermodel, 48, and husband Rande Gerber have taken Presley, 15, and Kaia, 13, out of Malibu High School after testing showed elevated levels of polychlorinated biphenyls in several classrooms.
Routine soil tests apparently found elevated levels of the chemicals, commonly known as PCBs, in window caulking in the rooms. PCBs were banned by Congress in 1976 after it was revealed they could cause cancer and harm the immune and reproductive systems.
“I look 10 years down the line. What if my kid, God forbid, had a problem?” Crawford told Maria Shriver on the “Today” show Tuesday.
The dangerous chemicals have been found at two Malibu-area schools and Crawford doesn’t want to take any chances.
Maybe the highly successful model is overreacting to such a small health risk. I can’t imagine switching schools over a bit of old window caulking. But I’m happy that Crawford and other wealthy parents can make the choice they believe is best for their kids.
When it comes to schools, like everything else, the rich have choice. Always have, always will.
A celebrity can send their kid to public, private, charter, parochial, boarding or even military school. This gives them the maximum array of options to find the perfect environment for their child’s learning style, social environment and aspirations.
But not every child is that lucky. Most American kids attend whatever school is located in their neighborhood. The average public school employs a one-size-fits-all approach to best teach the largest amount of students. But every child is unique with his own strengths, weaknesses and learning style.
Any parent knows how different kids can be in the same family, let alone across a neighborhood, city or state. So why not give poor and middle-class parents the same school choice that Cindy Crawford enjoys?
Barack Obama sent his daughters to the exclusive Sidwell Friends School in Washington, D.C., as did Hillary Clinton. But both oppose common-sense school choice programs that would help the poor children in the same city.
Contrary to the spin offered by education reform opponents, innovative programs like vouchers and scholarships were not created to assist wealthy moms like Cindy Crawford. The main beneficiary are the poor children unable to go to a private school in Malibu.