CCS Middle Schoolers Graduate from Teen and Police Service Academy Program
March 1, 2021 -- Seventh-grader Christian Cunningham is very aware of the record violence we’ve experienced in Columbus in the last year. However, the 16-year-old’s mom was still shocked when he asked if he will be alive for his 17th birthday.
Cunningham is one of 15 students at the school who recently graduated from the Teen and Police Service Academy or (TAPS). The program’s goal is to build and strengthen relationships with police and the Columbus area community.
“As a black man, father, and principal of a school for all boys, it is important to not only recognize the problem but start to find real solutions,” said Tai Cornute, Principal Columbus City Preparatory School for Boys. “Even in this pandemic, police reached out to me and said we could still conduct the TAPS sessions with my scholars virtually. That was a no-brainer. Of course, I agreed.”
To graduate from the TAPS program, the students commit to meet with police, magistrates, and judges weekly for eight to 12 weeks. “My students learn from police, and the police learn from these young men,” said Cornute. “I’m extremely proud of the commitment my students have demonstrated to be agents of change and leaders for tomorrow. These young men had genuine and honest conversations with the police. One of my students is interested in becoming a police officer after seeing that the job is more than just policing.”
10TV recently profiled three students from Columbus City Preparatory School for Boys who graduated from the TAPS program. They are Christian Cunningham and sixth graders, Javeir Napier and Robarje Magnus.