Off by a Degree | Letters | Chicago Reader

Off by a Degree 

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Dear Reader editor,

Tori Marlan wrote a moving article about the struggle of Detra W. and her family ["Prisoner of the Past," April 8], but she made one error about Detra's life today by stating that "she's finishing up her GED."

In a few weeks Detra will actually walk across a stage to receive her high school diploma, endorsed by an accredited high school--not a General Equivalency Diploma. She comes to class each evening, 6-9:15 PM, Monday through Thursday, and is consistently ready to contribute to the day's class work. Detra has stood out as a pillar of strength in the classroom, and I am often awed by the stamina she and her classmates have, maintaining this long schedule and staying on top of homework assignments.

To pass the GED test is not an easy accomplishment, but to earn a high school diploma as an adult is remarkable. To do it while fighting a heartbreaking legal battle is truly amazing.

Thank you for the article. There is not enough written about the increasing problem of incarcerated mothers and the custody issues they face.

Mary Hornschemeier


St. Leonard's Adult High School

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