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William Howard Taft High School was a high school in South Bronx, New York Citymarker.

The school was operated by the New York City Department of Education.

Taft H.S. is located in an impoverished, high crime area. Being located in the "South Bronx", in the 1980s and early 1990s, Taft H.S. earned a notorious reputation as one of the most crime, violence, and gang-ridden schools in the country.

Even though the school got better, there was a recent incident pron to gang violence.

This was in marked contrast to its past glory in the 1940s-1950s as one of the Bronx's premier public high schools - both in sports and academics. In that era, a majority of its graduates went on to higher education. Famous graduates included Stanley Kubrick, Chuck Negron, and the singer Eydie Gormé.

As is the case in many American inner city public schools, metal detectors were installed to prevent students from bringing weapons in the school. Determined students found ways to circumvent the system, for example, by sneaking weapons through windows or passing them through back doors.

The danger of working at this school was highlighted in May 1997, when Jonathan Levin, an English teacher at the school and the son of former Time Warner chairman Gerald M. Levin, was murdered by a former student in his Manhattan apartment.Although few incidents were as grave.

Of the 629 students that attend this school, virtually all were Hispanic or African American. On any given day, attendance hovered around 86%, despite having 10 truancy officers assigned to the school.

After becoming a symbol of New York City public school failure, the school was gradually phased out and replaced with smaller schools.

The last graduating class was in June 2008 and the building is now used for:



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