Two weeks after a 17-year-old fractured the skull of Bartram High’s “conflict resolution specialist,” Philadelphia school officials sent a team to assess the troubled school, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer. Violence is “the new normal,” said a teacher.
A brawl erupted in the school cafeteria, students set off firecrackers and the 17-year-old who assaulted the staffer was seen at school for two days.
Administrators don’t remove problem students, say teachers. That’s created a “culture of chaos and disregard for authority.”
The cafeteria melee was captured by a cellphone camera and posted on social media.
. . . dozens gathered, with several students exchanging punches. A male school police officer attempts to separate the combatants as the room fills with screams.
In short order, a larger brawl erupts, mostly between female students. A female police officer attempts to break up one skirmish, then others. At one point in the video, that officer appears to fall to the floor.
“We have to go beyond police officers,” said Fernando Gallard, a district spokesman. “We’ve got to figure out a way to get these young people to care for others.”
“The administration has begun attempting to crack down on students who come late to school, and those who ditch class or use cellphones, but many students, accustomed to having wide latitude in the building, aren’t taking the adults seriously,” reports the Inquirer.
I’m sure many students at Bartram High would prefer a safe, orderly school where they can learn. But nobody can learn — or teach — in a “culture of chaos.”
Students at high-poverty high schools receive “an average of half an hour less instruction per day than their higher-income peers” due to disruptions and “poverty-related challenges,” according to a new study, reports Education Week.