For years, boosters say, the school was the victim of a district that deprived Germantown of resources, leading to poor academics and an unsafe environment. But Germantown has made strides of late, continues to be an anchor in the community, and should be allowed to continue, they say.
The district is broke, officials say, and without closing a large number of schools, it will not have the cash to continue operating. They say that there are tens of thousands of empty seats citywide and that closing the 37 schools would save about $28 million.
Primus reminded the crowd that it was their job to keep the pressure on the School Reform Commission, which would decide in March which schools to close. She vowed that members of the Germantown community would pack every district meeting between now and the SRC vote.
Cynthia Geiger, president of the Germantown Home and School Association, said the school was responsible for a turnaround in her daughter, junior Saida Muhammad. She said she would fight for Saida's education and for the larger good.
"They're closing schools and funding prisons? Don't take opportunities from our students," said Geiger. She and others said that sending students to rival Martin Luther King High - the district's proposal if Germantown were closed - would be disastrous.
Student Donzell Davis said his reason for marching was simple: "I want my grandkids to go to Germantown, and my great-grandkids."
Contact Kristen Graham at 215-854-5146 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow on Twitter @newskag. Read her blog, "Philly School Files," at www.philly.com/schoolfiles.