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NEWS
November 14, 2014 | BY SOLOMON LEACH, Daily News Staff Writer leachs@phillynews.com, 215-854-5903
NEW VIDEO released yesterday shows School Reform Commission member Sylvia Simms telling student protesters, "Y'all probably in failing schools," during a confrontation last month. The exchange happened Oct. 15 when more than a dozen students with the Philadelphia Student Union interrupted a showing of the movie "Won't Back Down" hosted by Simms and Comcast at the district's headquarters. The film is loosely based on events in Los Angeles in 2010, when parents tried to take over several failing public schools.
NEWS
November 13, 2014 | By Kristen A. Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
School Reform Commission member Sylvia Simms has denied berating student protesters last month but a video that surfaced Wednesday shows her doing just that: Saying they're "probably in failing schools. " The incident happened during a screening of the film Won't Back Down that was interrupted by about 20 members of the organizing group Philadelphia Student Union. On Wednesday, the group released a video that shows an agitated Simms getting close to the students, who had sat down to disrupt the proceedings.
NEWS
November 13, 2014 | By Kristen A. Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
  Dozens gathered Wednesday on the steps of Bartram High - the Southwest Philadelphia school where a staffer was knocked out by a student last week - to make a plea: Help us fix this place. "You cannot teach children in an atmosphere of fear, thinking that if you reprimand a student you might get knocked upside the head," said Councilman Kenyatta Johnson, who along with the teachers' union organized the rally. That's just what happened Nov. 6, when a student sought out veteran substitute teacher Pewu Johnson after Johnson had corrected the teenager for behaving "inappropriately" with a female student in his class.
NEWS
November 10, 2014 | By David O'Reilly, Inquirer Staff Writer
In minutes, the opening salvo in the latest skirmish of the Pennsylvania pigeon wars was due to begin. And there, a half-mile away across the Delaware River, lay ground zero. Shrouded behind a long, 30-foot-high wall of pale fabric, the Philadelphia Gun Club looked fortresslike in the distance. For decades, the club in Bensalem has been staging pigeon shoots that animal activists call cruel, savage, and an outrage. On the New Jersey side of the river, in Beverly, five of those activists stood watching Saturday as the clocks on their laptops ticked toward 9 a.m. Armed not with shotguns but an inflatable boat and a drone-mounted video camera, they could barely contain their contempt for the men and women who fire at caged birds flung skyward by handlers.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 5, 2014 | By Howard Gensler
REGULAR READERS of Tattle know we are constantly amazed by the number of different groups who are aggrieved by perceived slights in the entertainment media. If there's an ethnic group or a religious group that hasn't been offended by some TV show or comedy routine, we haven't met them. The fat, the skinny, smokers, nonsmokers, those suffering from acne, erectile dysfunction and restless leg syndrome. And now . . . Shy-bladder sufferers want DirecTV to stop airing a television ad where a "painfully awkward" Rob Lowe says that he can't urinate in public.
NEWS
October 26, 2014 | By Suzette Parmley, Inquirer Staff Writer
ATLANTIC CITY - A trio of Trump Taj Mahal waitresses - Susan Blight, Patti Pinchock, and Valerie McMorris - have been with the casino since it opened on April 2, 1990. All three said Friday they sense its last days are on the near horizon. "We just feel violated," said Pinchock, 53, of Egg Harbor Township, who held up a sign that read, "Healthcare RIP. " Added McMorris, 45, of Galloway Township: "A Delaware judge, with a stroke of a pen, took away our health-care benefits. Instead of being part of the middle class, we are now the working poor.
BUSINESS
October 24, 2014 | By Linda Loyd, Inquirer Staff Writer
Airplane cabin cleaners at Philadelphia International Airport employed by subcontractors rallied outside Terminal B on Wednesday, seeking safer procedures to protect "front line" workers against infectious diseases, including Ebola. Tommy Rodney, a cabin cleaner and supervisor in the international terminal, said his employer, Prospect Aviation Services Inc., gives workers latex gloves that rip easily, and no training on exposure to waste and bodily fluids in cleaning aircraft bathrooms, removing trash, wiping down tray tables, and digging through seat pockets and cushions.
NEWS
October 18, 2014 | By Susan Snyder, Inquirer Staff Writer
A member of the Philadelphia School Reform Commission has come under fire for yelling at student protesters who disrupted a parent movie night held Wednesday at school district headquarters. Ruby Anderson, a senior at Science Leadership Academy, and two other people in attendance said Commissioner Sylvia Simms asked students what schools they attend and then told them: "You all probably go to failing schools. " "I thought it was pretty inappropriate for a public official to yell at people she's supposed to be representing," said Anderson, who was among about 20 students staging the sit-in.
NEWS
October 18, 2014 | By Kristen A. Graham and Aubrey Whelan, Inquirer Staff Writers
  Furious over the Philadelphia School Reform Commission's move to unilaterally cancel its teachers' contract, 3,000 people shut down North Broad Street on Thursday, vowing more disruptive action if the panel's action is not undone. The eyes of the nation are on Philadelphia, said American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten, in town for a massive rally held before an SRC meeting. "Philly is ground zero for injustice," Weingarten told the crowd of sign-waving teachers, counselors, nurses, and supporters.
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