A Second Chance

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Ex-cons in schools? There there.

A report just released by the state says there are more than 400 of them with felony records in Michigan schools, and while it may raise concern for some parents, one ex-con says people need to realize there are people like him everywhere.

"Do people deserve a second chance? I obviously think they do," says Ronnie Tyson.

He is not part of the list of school workers with felony records recently released, but he feels for those people. He too works in education at the college level, teaching social work at Western Michigan University. He got in trouble years ago after stealing to support a drug habit. He says it’s only because people gave him support and a second chance that he has found success.

Pat Eagan works with the Prisoner Re-entry Initiative at Michigan Works in Lansing. He says it’s important to remember everyone is safer if ex-cons have jobs.

"Employment is the number one factor in whether or not someone will re-offend."

And while both say there are some violent or sexual criminals who should never work in schools, they say they hope schools deal with each employee on a fair case by case basis.