Philadelphia school violence is unacceptably high, state report says

May 14, 2008
District needs to take aggressive steps to combat problem, state education secretary says.

Pennsylvania Secretary of Education Gerald Zahorchak says violence in Philadelphia schools is unacceptably high, and the school district needs to take immediate aggressive steps to stem the rising tide. Zahorchak has issued a report that says the number of criminal offenders--more than 5,207 fifth through 12th graders last school year--and the nature of the violence raise "real concerns about whether all schools provide the kind of environment necessary to ensure safety and promote student achievement." The report was written in response to a document prepared by state safe-schools advocate Jack Stollsteimer.
Click here to read The Philadelphia Inquirer article.

A report by the safe-schools advocate in the Philadelphia district says the city's public schools are unsafe places where students who commit violent crimes are rarely punished and rehabilitated and with a disciplinary system that is "dysfunctional and unjust." School crime, the report says, has been historically underreported, victims do not receive proper rights, and the increasing violence against teachers and employees is not taken seriously.
Click here to read The Philadelphia Inquirer article.

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