Good morning Columbus. Here’s what you need to know: Talking about difficult issues, Chaley Rose, dads and daughters, how are your roads?

Good morning Columbus —

Conversations about race, gender and ethnicity can be difficult. But each day we see why these discussions are crucial to addressing inequalities and understanding each other better.

This week, there were a couple of area news stories that were examples of why we must keep the conversation going.

One was at a school district in Bartholomew County, and it became an example of how to talk to one another in productive and meaningful ways.

Another, where a Franklin city council member, shared a post that said: “We bring people from s***hole countries because s***hole Democrats need s***hole votes so they can turn America into a s***hole, poured fire on issues already at a boiling point.

The Franklin City Council member is no longer on the city council. Click here for the story.

At Hauser High School, though, there was an important teaching moment. No one got defensive. No one yelled. And here’s one of the best parts: There was a lot of listening going on.

Debra Haza of Columbus, who is of Native American descent, met with Hauser Principal David Wintin and two students who had selected the original “cowboys and Indians” theme for a homecoming dress-up day.

“We were essentially ignorant that this would be offensive,” Wintin said.

“I think we have a better grasp now of where they are coming from and where we are coming from. We recognize the theme was off kilter in this day and age,” he said.

“I did not go in and say, ‘No, you can’t do this,’ ” Haza said.

“I wanted to help them on their way to better understand Native American culture,” she said. “We’re trying to educate people.”

Click and read how this entire issue was resolved and how everyone will move forward.

It seems so simple: Approach each other with respect. Have an open mind. Engage. Listen. Learn.

Here’s what else you need to know today —

Today’s Instapic: From Chaley Rose.
We’re fans of Columbus East grad Chaley Rose. And we’re big Brian Blair fans too. Republic reporter Blair caught up with the actress-singer. Link to the story here. And thanks for the Instagram shoutout, Chaley Rose.

Chaley Rose

These photos will melt your heart.
In Columbus, it was date night with Dad for hundreds of princesses. Here is the photo gallery.

Is the snow and ice off the roads near your home?
Some residents are not giving area road crews top marks. Complaints have included large pile-ups of snow blocking driveways or mailboxes and residential streets left untreated for days after Monday’s snow. Click here to find out how road officials are responding.

Graduation rates explored.
The numbers are down at Bartholomew County schools and statewide. “In any given year, you will have ebbs and flows in the rate, and you hope that over time the trend is a positive one. And that has been the case for Bartholomew Consolidated Schools at both North and East,” BCSC Superintendent Jim Roberts said. The numbers are in a graphic below. Here’s the story.

 graduation rates

Have a great weekend! Click here to send us your story ideas.

Author photo
Scarlett Syse is group editor of The Republic. Contact her at ssyse@therepublic.com.