March 1, 2014 |
CAMDEN Lorenz Bethea, 17, takes her one-mile walk to school pretty quickly. With no one on the streets in the early morning and a 10-block walk, "it's a long stretch if something were to happen," she said. Once inside Woodrow Wilson High School, she said, it's common to start her day weaving through fights in the hallways. "Sometimes it just feels like this isn't school," Bethea said. "Sometimes it's chaos, it's a party all the time. " On Thursday, in a move to make Bethea and all city students safer, Camden School Superintendent Paymon Rouhanifard announced a five-point safety plan for the district where, last year, 50 percent of students reported feeling unsafe and violent incidents in schools climbed from 138 to 163. At the same time - echoing President Obama's call to abandon zero-tolerance policies because they are often enforced inequitably - Rouhanifard said he wants to reduce unnecessary police calls and arrests while still ensuring that incidents are accurately reported to the state.
January 17, 2013
In a federal lawsuit, a former Temple University athlete says she was kicked off the volleyball team and her full scholarship was revoked after she reported that her ex-boyfriend, a Temple football player, had assaulted her and threatened to kill her. Emily Frazer was a starting middle blocker and team server on Temple's 2011 volleyball team, according to the school's website. Her lawsuit says she was visiting a fellow student in a dorm on Jan. 21, 2011, when her former boyfriend, Andrew Cerett, forced his way in and begged to talk to her. She ran to her own dorm, where Cerett, a punter for the Owls, kicked the door open and threatened to kill her, the lawsuit, filed Friday, alleges.
September 18, 2011
Judith Browne Dianis is a civil rights litigator and codirector of the Advancement Project Anand Jahi is an organizer with the Philadelphia- based Youth United for Change The changes to the Philadelphia School District's zero-tolerance policy and some of the admirable recommendations in the recent blue-ribbon commission report on safe schools signal a widespread recognition that expulsions of city students is too high....
June 14, 2011 |
Two Pennsylvania teens cannot be disciplined at school for MySpace parodies of their principals created on home computers, a federal appeals court ruled yesterday in a high-profile case involving students and free speech. The postings, however lewd or offensive, were not likely to cause significant disruptions at school and are therefore protected under prior Supreme Court case law, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found. "Today's court decision states that you cannot punish students for off-campus speech simply because it offends or criticizes [school officials]
September 7, 2010 |
SUPERINTENDENT Arlene Ackerman and other school district officials should expect to have extra homework this school year. Education advocates in the city say they plan to keep a close eye on the schools chief and her team this year as they embark on a new year full of challenges and expectations. Certain key goals last year were realized - reduced class sizes and a more-intense focus on struggling schools - but the real work is keeping the momentum going, school observers say. Many are calling for greater transparency by not only the district, but also in the state-created School Reform Commission that oversees it. "They're dictators," said Gerald Wright, of Parents United for Public Education, referring to the SRC and a recent vote on a resolution approving a $1 million contract to install security turnstiles at district headquarters.
April 8, 2009 |
The 17-year-old Chester High School senior walked into the courtroom and listened as the charges against him were read. This was no ordinary legal proceeding. The venue was an out-of-the-way classroom, C-211, with few windows, institutional blue walls, dirty linoleum floors, and laminate cabinets. There was a judge's bench, complete with gavel, and a jury box. The senior would be tried for what might be called scholastic offenses - disrupting class, arguing with a girl, and refusing to provide his teacher with a good phone number for his parents.
March 2, 2007 |
The Philadelphia School District's student disciplinary system is plagued by inconsistencies, high turnover in personnel, and a lack of training, staff and resources - all leading to a breakdown in procedure and an insufficient transfer of problem pupils out of the schools, according to an independent consultant's report released yesterday. Some school personnel have become so frustrated that they have given up carrying out discipline in all but the most serious cases, said the 47-page report prepared by Ellen Green-Ceisler, who previously monitored the Police Department as head of the city's Integrity and Accountability Office.
September 29, 2006
WHY DOES Flavia Colgan (op-ed, Sept. 27, "Will Islam rise to pope's challenge?") claim that her perceived challenge from the Holy Father is unmet? Islamic leaders routinely counsel against violence and engage in a rationalist discourse with other faiths. Perhaps it is the media that chooses to ignore these entreaties, just as the media chose to ignore the context of the pope's words. As a non-Muslim expatriate living in the United Arab Emirates during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, I have been generously given numerous tracts on Islam and Muslim-Christian dialogue and politely engaged in very interesting conversations on these matters.
November 9, 2005 |
The Philadelphia School District has hired Ellen Green-Ceisler - who monitored the Police Department during her tenure as head of the city's Integrity and Accountability Office - to report on the handling of student discipline in the schools. Paul Vallas, the district's chief executive officer, said yesterday that discipline and violence remained a major challenge and that he hoped a thorough assessment of the system would lead to better practices. "My biggest headache is school discipline and student safety," Vallas said.
September 9, 2004 |
Principal Alana Walls had carefully planned her opening day for months. This was not it. Ten students missed the bus, and a staff member had to pick them up. A light rain derailed plans to line students up outside. A sick student had to be sent home. All of that before lunch. It was the first day of classes yesterday for about 80 fifth graders at the new Freedom Academy Charter School in Camden's Fairview section. "There are always the unexpected things that come up," Walls said.