Climate of violence pervades classrooms in urban district
The Philadeliphia Inquirer published a story today about how violence has fueled chaos in its city schools. According to the story, the Inquirer spent a year interviewing and surveying hundreds of teachers, parents, students, and education experts violence in the district.
The Inquirer also commissioned an independent survey by Temple University that sampled 750 teachers and aides - 6 percent of the 13,000 the district employs. According to the story today, "more than two-thirds of those who responded to the survey reported that the violence and disruption in their building hindered their students' ability to learn. And more than half said violence had worsened during the last three years."
The Inquirer devoted five reporters, one year of reporting, and a host of resources to the story, which opened beautifully, albeit hauntingly...
"For Teshada Herring, the action was unmistakable: The girls smearing Vaseline on their faces and fitting scarves to their heads were preparing for a fight.
The ritual - well-known in Philadelphia schools - is intended to keep skin from scarring and hair from getting ripped out.
As Teshada passed the group on her way to class at Audenried High that morning, the events of the previous week flashed through her mind - a fight she had witnessed, Facebook posts warning that someone from her neighborhood would be attacked, a text blast to her phone that all but named her as the intended victim.
She wondered: Would they come for her?"
I would highly encourage all to read and find out.