EDT alum works with students to benefit the Ohio Innocence Project

Ohio Innocence Project basketball gameRachel McMillian, a Miami teacher education graduate and current Shroder Paideia High School social studies chair in Cincinnati, worked with her students using a civics class project to help the Ohio Innocence Project (OIP). The OIP seeks to identify and assist prison inmates who claim to be actually innocent of the crimes for which they were convicted. The students raised a little over $400 and hope to make an even $500.

Per McMillian: I currently teach 11th grade American Government at Shroder High School. It's been a pretty tough year because we are a failing school and we have had to focus a lot of our time and energy on test preparation. I've been determined not to teach to the test though, so my students are currently working on a major civics project for my class. They had to answer the question, "Does the Constitution protect the rights of ALL citizens?" If students answered yes, they had to use their rights to contribute to the greater good. However, most of my students said no and they then had to work in the community to solve civil rights concerns. I tried to be pretty much hands off in the project and my students were able to develop some amazing ideas about how they could work in the community. After learning about the 8th amendment and death row, one particular group decided that they would host a 3-on-3 basketball tournament to help benefit the Ohio Innocence Project. They met with a lawyer from the Innocence Project at the University of Cincinnati and they scheduled the event for Saturday, February 18th. The Innocence Project came to the event and brought a person who was wrongfully convicted of a crime and spent 18 years in prison as a result. All of the money raised will benefit the Ohio Innocence Project. So many of my students are doing great work in this project.

McMillian thanks EDT's Dr. Tom Misco for teaching her all that she knows.

Coverage of the basketball tournament can be found at