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School District leaders should take a stand now or resign

By Helen Gym on May 22, 2014 07:45 PM

A beloved 7-year-old child from Jackson Elementary School died yesterday, but don’t call it a tragedy. Tragedies are for things outside your control, things we couldn’t possibly predict, and for which we have no warning.

Tragedy is not the right word when this is the second child to die who was in a school without a school nurse. Tragedy is not the right word when the District creates a policy by which only students pre-determined as “medically fragile” are entitled to a full-time nurse. Tragedy is not the right word when Jackson Elementary until five years ago had a nurse five days a week. Today? They see her six days a month.

Tragedy is not the right word when the Department of Health requires schools to have a medical team and emergency health plan, and our District’s plan is to cross its fingers and call 911. Tragedy is not the right word when the District presents public budgets that ensure a dangerous level of staffing even as they beg for hundreds of millions of dollars in funding.

Let's be clear: The losses of essential staff at schools are not just budget cuts. These are human-rights abuses happening to our own children on our watch.

Call it willful neglect. Call it child endangerment. But don’t call it a tragedy.

A tragedy is what happened at a middle school in Mount Laurel where an 8th grader died following a physical education class. On staff were two nurses plus a medical aide for a school of 1,000 students. That school had the capacity to send a medical team into action to try and save the life of that student.

At Jackson, we saw a school without such options, dependent on the skills of random volunteers and adults who might be in the building that day.

Between those two schools is a world of difference and intent.

The fact of the matter is that the School Reform Commission and District leadership have refused to create or uphold a budget and vision for schools that keeps our children safe – and they continue to do so today.

Last year, when the District and SRC voted to pass a “doomsday budget,” hundreds of parents, teachers, students, and school nurses warned of the disastrous fallout of stripping schools of so many personnel. This fall, parents from 90-plus schools filed over 800 formal complaints with the state's Department of Education about a lack of services in schools. A significant number of complaints focused on lack of school nurses, triggering an investigation and ultimately the restoration in late January of school nurses at a handful of schools. The District was no friend in the investigation, denying that students lacked access to adequate care. Even now, they seek to evade obligations within labor contracts for required staffing .

After the tragic death of LaPorshia Massey, a beautiful 12-year-old at Bryant Elementary, in September, did the District alter its practices to provide even a basic medical emergency plan in schools? Did it prioritize nurses in its newly dubbed “empty shell” budget? No.

When a school staff member had their skull fractured at Bartram High School this winter – a school that has lost one-third of its staff in the last two years – how many SRC members stood up and ripped the budget they passed? Not one. 

What has happened to our schools is a situation that was set in motion by the current District and SRC leadership – while the elected officials who put them there watched. We have done little to correct its momentum since.

A brief glimmer of hope occurred last summer when Superintendent William Hite contemplated refusing to open schools without more resources. A collective cheer went up across the city. That was the last sign of courage from District leaders who know full well the consequences of operating schools without a safe level of staffing. Our children and our schools have paid an unspeakable price since.

We are not engaged in the practice of education anymore. We are engaging in a sick social experiment where we strip every imaginable resource from young children and adults, then sit back and watch what happens. We blame young adults at Bartram when chaos erupts, we mull ridiculous questions about whether nurses matter in a life or death situation. But we don’t fundamentally question the structure District leadership and the SRC have designed, endorsed, and sold.

Our District leaders and SRC commissioners have only one option. Present a budget that calls for safe levels of staffing in every school and refuse to open or operate schools otherwise. 

If they cannot, the entire District leadership – Superintendent Hite, Paul Kihn, Matthew Stanski, and Karyn Lynch – as well as the entire School Reform Commission should submit their resignations.
  
It's time for "accountability" from those who so often demand it from others. The true powers behind them – the governor, the mayor and City Council – have delayed, bickered, blustered, and failed to deliver on a central responsibility regarding our children’s future. 

No longer. Our children and families will not be the only ones held accountable for the unspeakable conditions in our schools. The time for polite conversation is over. 

Superintendent Hite and the SRC: Take a stand now – or resign.

 

Helen Gym is a founder of Parents United for Public Education.


The opinions expressed are solely those of the author.

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Comments (46)

Submitted by anon (not verified) on May 22, 2014 8:32 pm
bravo, helen. you speak eloquently to the truth of the matter. it's time for leadership that actively seeks to lead, rather than just go through the motions while their true focus is laser sharp on dismantling that which they've been given stewardship of.
Submitted by queensteach (not verified) on May 22, 2014 8:02 pm
Well said Helen. Thank you for being an advocate for all our children. I encourage everyone to forward this commentary to all of your friends across the country, post on Facebook and share links on your twitter feed. Let the world know of the human rights violation happening right now each and every day in Philadelphia schools. Let the world know!!!!!! Enough is enough. Our children are not collateral damage. This was not a tragedy as Helen stated. This was a calculated risk that Corbett, Hite, Nutter and the entire City Council and State Legislature gambled and took on the lives of our children.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on May 22, 2014 9:48 pm
My sincere condolences to the family of this child. My thoughts are also with the adults at the school who tried to save this child's life. I can try to imagine how they feel...I'm a teacher in Philly and I came close to having a similar experience in my school last year. Luckily, the student I was attending to did not die in my arms, but that could have happened. As it was, I had nightmares about it for a month. I hope that the family sues the district and that part of their demands are a full time nurse in every school--more than one nurse for larger schools. Nothing will bring back their child and they will always wonder, "what if....?" The thing they can try to do is make sure no one else has to ask that question. I hope that the adults who tried to help this child get the love and support that they need from their loved ones...and any mental health counseling that can assist them. Sadness, for all.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on May 23, 2014 7:12 am
I'm with you on this one. When I was teaching high school in Philadelphia, it was at a school that had a nurse every other Monday. One day, a sophomore boy got into a fistfight with another student - not an uncommon event but, unfortunately, this boy was wearing glass contact lenses. A punch in the face shattered one of his lenses, turning his left eye into a bloody mess, Even worse, this did NOT happen on a second Monday when the school nurse was available. Because I'd had some paramedic training, the child was brought to me. I had to sterilize a pair of tweezers I borrowed from a Science teacher with a butane cigarette lighter, then meticulously extract the glass shards, and pack the eye with gauze soaked in saline. Only when this was all done did the EMT's finally arrive. Thankfully, the boy did not lose his eyesight, let alone his life. But the incident disturbed me tremendously and once again pointed up the idiocy of those administrators who expect school teachers to function as fully trained medical professionals. This is simply a cataclysm in the making. All it will take is one case of meningitis - or MERS - or something equally dreadful - to go unrecognized and untreated and to spread like wildfire among a helpless, unsuspecting student population across the District. Then, when the body count rises, the horrendous consequences of this public health gamble will at last be acknowledged. But, of course, it will be much too late. God help us all.
Submitted by Hope Mucklow (not verified) on June 2, 2014 11:29 am
Sue? Is this the answer? This is part of the budget problem. Parents are suing and the money needed for school districts/counties to go to court is sucking the life out of their budgets that should be used for competent faculty and truly needed resources. Note I said truly needed resources. Much of today's technology is driving up costs and hasn't proven to improve test scores. Anger doesn't solve anything. I'm sorry for this family, but death does happen prematurely for some. Why not take the approach Mark Rodriquez's family did? http://wavy.com/2014/05/31/community-remembers-teen-killed-in-norfolk/ Please stop using situations like this to support the "we need more money" lie in order to drive taxes back up.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on May 22, 2014 9:49 pm
What is the value of a child's life? Priceless, I think. Not sure that the SRC or the governor would answer the same
Submitted by Tax payer (not verified) on May 23, 2014 4:34 am
Priceless indeed! Historically, the life Brown and Black children--not so much...
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on May 23, 2014 9:53 am
Even the actuarial value of a child's life is greater than the cost to higher the nurses to care for them.
Submitted by Paulo Freire (not verified) on May 22, 2014 9:07 pm
Exact same thing the auto company did when they decided to go ahead with the human life-risk, even knowing about the faulty ignition part . . .
Submitted by LeRoi (not verified) on May 22, 2014 9:17 pm
You are so right Helen! DHS should be investigating the schools because this is child abuse in the SDP. The children that physically survive aren't getting an education this year, and next year is slatted to be worse. The SRC, Hite, and company need to STAND UP AND SHUT IT DOWN OR RESIGN!!! My prayers are with the families that have loss their children and I pray that it doesn't happen to another child. We need to get a group of parents and community leaders to visit schools and see, first hand, what they are doing to our children.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on May 22, 2014 9:35 pm
What is stopping the parents of Philadelphia from keeping their kids home, en masse, on strike, until this situation is resolved. Resolved = restoration of nurses, security personnel and critical teacher levels. I'd rather keep my kids home to make a point than to send them off with my fingers crossed. This especially applies to special needs, medically fragile, food allergic and asthmatic kids. Keep 'em home until the situation is safe.
Submitted by Paulo Freire (not verified) on May 22, 2014 10:48 pm
"Like"
Submitted by Anne Gemmell (not verified) on May 23, 2014 1:05 pm
What a luxurious question followed by a stand that happens to be completely out of touch with most Philly public school parents. You are quite lucky to have this choice. But, you are the tiny minority.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on May 22, 2014 10:58 pm
According to the District's budget proposal, if they only get $120 million, they will cut 18% of the current nurse staffing. Page 24. http://webgui.phila.k12.pa.us/uploads/dP/rA/dPrAVit1k8Xa4CJXcyxemQ/FY201...
Submitted by Paulo Freire (not verified) on May 22, 2014 10:08 pm
Sadly, "School District Leadership" seems like an oxymoron . . .
Submitted by Teachin' (not verified) on May 22, 2014 10:28 pm
BRAVO!
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on May 22, 2014 11:03 pm
Helen for superintendent!
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on May 23, 2014 2:23 am
Thank you. (Also, a small copyediting note: Laporshia's name has just the one capital letter.)
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on May 23, 2014 8:05 am
One of the bitterest ironies is that Hite earns an enormous salary to dismantle the district, and Green has just received a lucrative offer to join a major law form. They are wealthy, while schools continue to starve.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on May 23, 2014 8:31 am
Thank you Helen, well said!!
Submitted by Kate Kramer (not verified) on May 23, 2014 8:27 am
VOTE: Our Philadelphia City Council members, our elected public representatives, have designated funds for the Philadelphia Public School District at their disposal. They need to do their jobs and direct these funds accordingly. If not, fire them at election time. VOTE In the meantime: give each of them a call to let them know they are on your radar. Councilman Mark Squilla 215- 686 -3458 Councilman Kenyatta Johnson 215- 686- 3412 Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell 215- 686- 3418 Councilman Curtis Jones 215-686-1934/35 Council President Darrell Clarke 215-686- 3442/43 Councilman Bobby Henon 215-686-3444/45 Councilwoman Maria Quinines-Sanchez 215-686-3448 Councilwoman Cindy Bass 215-686-3424 Councilwoman Marian Tasco 215-6896-3454 Councilman Brien O'Neill 215-686-1939 Councilman- At- Large Bill Greenlee 215-686-3446 Councilman-At- Large Wilson Goode 215-6863414 Councilman-At-Large Jim Kenney 215-686-3450 Councilman-At-Large David Oh 215-686-3452
Submitted by Anne Gemmell (not verified) on May 23, 2014 10:00 am
So everyone resigns? Then what? We all get a rudderless district for these critical times? Or, we don't open schools? Do we think children in the most deeply poor large city in the nation will be safer at home unsupervised while their parents must work because they are not stay at home moms? Can't afford adequate child care? I am as sad, angry and frustrated as everyone reading this is. But I cannot pretend what is written here is even remotely a solution for the situation. Dr. Hite & his staff are the least of our problems. The state will not stop attacking us with laws ensuring structural fiscal deficiencies. Fighting for the return of the charter reimbursement budget allocation is a $180 million dollar solution. The district is fighting for this. Cigarette tax is several millions more. The district is fighting for this. A huge part of the problem is that public education in Philly has an inadequate number of well-organized VOTING people engaged in education issues. If Parents United & the PFT had half of its email list serving as committee people and ward leaders, mayors and council would care a whole lot more. Just ask IBEW local 98. Local politicians (like our Mayor who added 0$ new dollars to schools in his budget) know they can keep their jobs even if they refuse to champion public schools. Could this be because there is a constant diatribe of voices bashing the district? Activist voices need to make this conversation a state and national media conversation about the injustice of austerity. Not keep it small and reactionary at the district level. Pressure needs to be on our state delegation in HBG now to get their voices unified and their act together. Even if they fail to secure funds, they need to be vocal and unified to help election outcomes in November. Philly voters must show up in huge numbers in November to ensure budget priorities are changed in 2015.Speaking of 2015, that begins a mayor's race. Is our next mayor going to score more popularity points building pubic schools up or tearing district leaders down? It is in part, up to us.
Submitted by Lisa Haver on May 24, 2014 7:06 am
Hi Anne When you are not able to do your job, then you resign. If the SRC is not able to make sure that our students have what they need because Harrisburg will not fund schools, then that is what they should say when they resign. They should say: We will no longer do the Governor's dirty work. We will not cover for the Governor in an election year. Find 5 other people to tell our students they do not deserve the same kind of education as kids on the other side of City Line. I have seen Hite and Green at City Council, but I don't see them "fighting" anyone. Green and Jiminez are not putting any public pressure the Governor who just appointed them. Green is already making excuses for the Governor when he alludes to a possible state deficit. When I see them on the bus to Harrisburg, standing in front of the state capitol building, demanding that the Governor and GA fund schools, then I will say they are fighting. In answer to your question, I don't think that Council refuses to champion public schools because there are people, including me, who criticize the district's political agenda and questionable spending priorities. I don't think you mean to suggest that no one should criticize Hite and Kihn when they do things like tamper with a school's established SAC so that they can hand over that school to a private charter operator. Or spending money on newly created jobs in newly created departments. ( You don't put a pool in the back yard when your house is crumbling.) I think it is important to attend SRC meetings and to keep a watchful eye on the relationship between the district and PSP, who has been able to remove entire faculties from two schools because the SRC accepted a large grant from them. I do think it is important for advocates to maintain a strong non-partisan position when advocating for public schools. If someone can be part of a large political machine and be successful in turning that machine in a different direction, great. But being standing outside of the machine, and not owing anyone any favors, will do more to create a united front for public education.
Submitted by Rich Migliore (not verified) on May 24, 2014 11:28 am
As usual, well said Lisa. Once appointed, the SRC members are not subservient to Corbet and Zogby. They have a legal duty to serve the best interests of the schoolchildren of Philadelphia, their parents, their school communities, and the citizens of Philadelphia, not any politician or any political agenda. I told Dr. Hite and the SRC that I would go anywhere, say anything, and do anything they wanted me to say, go and do to help get the $440 Million which is necessary to even provide our students with the basics of an adequate 21st century education. I began by addressing city council in support of Dr. Hite's request for the needed funds. It is time for all of us to stand for our students, our school communities and each other. If we can not stand for them -- we stand for nothing.
Submitted by Education Grad ... on May 24, 2014 4:43 pm
Lisa, you make a great point about maintining a "strong non-partisan position when advocating for public schools." Advocacy for public schools should be a universal concern that unites instead of divides because great public schools are part of the foundation of a democratic society.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on May 23, 2014 12:58 pm
True ,but PFT officials don't do half the things they should be doing and haven't for years that's why we are in the position we are. The most inactive, passive,do-nothing group of union officials are within the AFT/PFT . Email Randi and Jerry and ask what's going on with all the grievances, breaches of contract, and contract negotiations. Time to do something PFT before another year goes by of the SDP crapping more on the "status quo" contract they considered in no status at all. jjordan@pft.org rweingarten@aft.org
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on May 23, 2014 6:50 pm
I AGREE!!! Jerry Jordan is to passive, and always reactive. We should act before things happen. We should be in the public's face constantly about negotiations. He should make it public what is going on. what is being said. And he does not. SMH
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on May 23, 2014 1:01 pm
But … wait everyone… Dr. Hite thought it was possible and frugal NOT to keep nurses full time. He even thought raising class size to 41 is nothing bad considering that large populations of urban kids are performing below grade level He even thought teachers’ salary should be reduced by at least 13% while Bartram High has lost 30% of its teachers in the last 2 years While we are not CUTTING the number of executives at 440, we are cutting the number of nurses in our schools I think Hite’s solution is wrong! I wonder how long it will take for Philadelphians to see this man for what he really stands for
Submitted by PWP (not verified) on May 23, 2014 2:15 pm
"Let's be clear: The losses of essential staff at schools are not just budget cuts. These are human-rights abuses happening to our own children on our watch." Isn't that precisely what Dr. Hornbeck said years ago? For his forthright and correct comments, he was hounded out of office and the situation festers still.
Submitted by Rich Migliore (not verified) on May 23, 2014 2:49 pm
Yes. And when Hornbeck told Governor Ridge that his school funding system was institutional racism, Ridge proceeded to take over the school district with Act 46. The whole state takeover can be traced directly to Hornbeck saying that to Ridge. Hornbeck did resign because he thought that as long as he stayed in as Superintendent, that the district would never get enough money to open and maintain our schools for that year.
Submitted by PWP (not verified) on May 23, 2014 3:49 pm
Rich, I think I may have worked with you some years ago at Furness HS. in South Philly. I essentially agree with your statement except that I would say the "Takeover" isn't so much traced to what Dr. Hornbeck said as to the politicians being unable to tolerate criticism and hearing the unvarnished, unpleasant truth. I taught in the system for 33 years and saw first hand how unfairly our students were treated relative to students in surrounding districts; not by the teachers or even the administration in the schools but by politicians of all stripes. Too many of these "leaders" view(ed) our students as little more than chips in the game. And I firmly believe it is all tied to the poverty status of many, if not most of the families that send their children to Philadelphia public schools. De facto, that is racial. PWP
Submitted by Rich Migliore (not verified) on May 24, 2014 10:27 am
Hi! Of course Hornbeck antagonized more than just Ridge about the state's funding of our schools. It was about that time that I began intensively studying the state takeover of our schools and the results of the takeover from both practical and legal perspectives. The result was my book -- Whose School Is It? the Democratic Imperative of Our Schools, which I copyrighted and published in 2007. Some of the Furness teachers provided me with research which I sited in the book and I dedicated the book partially to Furness. Furness is one of the best schools and best school communities I have ever had the Great fortune to work with, and I have worked with several Great school communities. UCHS and Mastbaum are among them. I have not changed my view of the law and best practices since then. What we see is what we get when we take democracy and collaboration out of the governance and leadership of our schools. The proof is squarely before us and it is a sad sad situation.
Submitted by Julie Krug (not verified) on May 23, 2014 5:08 pm
Thank you so much, Helen, for saying what needed to be said. It is true that none of our leaders are being accountable to our kids. I feel like our teachers have the deck stacked against them. Shame on Corbett especially who is starving our schools of resources. This is a human rights issue.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on May 23, 2014 8:23 pm
When people ask me why I am still teaching in the SDP, my answer is always, "Because these children need great teachers too." Until we value our most vulnerable children as much as we value our more privileged ones, we will never be able to say we have done the best we could do for our children.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on May 23, 2014 10:52 pm
Absolutely sad. The children's educations and lives have to be tossed around and played like pawns in a chess game. The parents are being bamboozled into a panic and fear set in motion because many have a lack of understanding as to what is really happening. Teachers are being abused by the district and fearful of speaking up because they are told that if they speak up or talk about what is happening at their schools they can face disciplinary actions. All because the politicians have figured out that creating certain situations will keep monies in their pockets. We elected these money hungry, backbiting, thieves, and liars. Some of this is the fault of the citizens. Why do we keep these people in office? Oh yeah, some give away prom dresses. Some visit barbershops and attend church with us and they do it more (seems like when it's election time). Our neighborhoods are the same delapidated, crime ridden, hardly any jobs to be able to pay bills unless you work 2 plus jobs. I ask you to question yourselves. Why are these politicians still in office? Vote these bum money grubbers out! They aren't helping anyone's quality of life improve. They lie, shake hands, kiss babies, and say just about anything to get elected. Some have been in office for years and aren't doing crap except crapping on the citizens. Citizens, if you have an official whose been in office for years and no significant changes aren't seen, don't you think it's time for their asses to go? How long should we wait for these people to do their jobs? How long would you wait for a doctor to diagnose a problem you have? You wouldn't. You'd call the incompetent doctor a quack and go to the next doctor who can do the job. How many more children have to die in underfunded and short staffed schools? Today, someone else's child dies. Tomorrow, it could be mine or your child who dies needlessly. Citizens, we are too complacent. In the words of Marvin Gaye, "What's going on, what's happening brother, and save the children." Mercy, mercy me because we are definitely living the inner city blues.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on May 24, 2014 10:38 am
The problem is if you get them out they are replaced by another politician who is just another wheeler and dealer for the Republican or Democratic political machines. That's why many people don't vote. There is no real choice that genuinely represents the interests of the people. We need independent candidates who run free of the political machines. Eventually we need a new party in this country that has a program for the 99%.
Submitted by MBA to M'Ed mom (not verified) on May 24, 2014 8:43 pm
Thank you Helen for saying what needed to be said. Despite all the name calling and insults I took for pulling my child out of his public school and enrolling him at Greene St Friends, I know I made the right decision. It's been extremely hard for us, my ex husband reneged on his promise to split the tuition with me after agreeing to enroll our child (and he's been dragging me to family court for fake contempt charges in two states as payback for using the $2k my child receives in child support towards tuition instead of buying airplane tickets like I use to so as to fly our child out to visit his dad) And now that I am a teacher in Philadelphia, the district has made their contempt of me very clear, and has made my experience as a teacher quite unpleasant. But our kids in this city deserve so much more. They deserve to be educated in the same manner as every other child in this state and in this country. They deserve to go to school and not have to worry that if they become ill, they will die because they do not have reasonable safe guards that every child is entitled to have. Parents deserve to not have to worry about whether they will see their 5 year old when they walk them into a school each day. Not many parents who are working poor as I am can tolerate the hardships as my child and I have. And because of my litigious ex, I don't have the money I would need for the legal fight he would give me, to be able to move from Philadelphia, so I am stuck here and I want my child to be safe and receive a decent education. I didn't see it at his public school and now with children dying, being kidnapped and molested, safety issues etc, can you imagine how trapped I feel as do many parents in this city. This madness needs to be stopped.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on May 25, 2014 10:14 am
What does your personal drama have to do with this? You sound like a lunatic and make educators look bad! Please delete this.
Submitted by MBA to M'Ed mom (not verified) on May 25, 2014 12:33 pm
Given that I am an educator and a parent who struggles to get her child educated, quite a lot. Thanks for caring about us parents who worry about the safety and well being of our kids who attend schools in this city!
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on May 25, 2014 7:36 pm
Then talk about issues related to education. This is not a forum for you to grind an axe with your exhusband.
Submitted by MBA to M'Ed mom (not verified) on May 25, 2014 7:04 pm
Ok, thanks : ) and you missed my point because it was just to share one mom's struggle and what drastic thinks happen to try to get your child a decent education. It's not easy or realistic for a parent to keep a child home from school in protest. And my ex husband lives out of state and doesn't seem to understand how dire the school district is. He has no concept of what it's like, at least I hope he doesn't because no one who has had a good public education and as he has several post graduate degrees would actually wish their child to be in a district without school nurses and where children die because of it. Would you want that for your child or would you suffer and endure what I do for the betterment of my child. The fact that you miss the point and insult me, reminds me of those in the district that don't like me and the real reasons why parents, teachers and students really do need to go to the Dept of Justice about this. Enough is enough.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on May 25, 2014 12:46 am
So....Everyone here is great at speaking up "undercover". You all need to brave it up and go to the Dept. of Justice...It is a human rights issue. Especially since those that lead..lol...are making all of the wrong decisions for children. Secondly..EVERYONE needs to write to Jdiaz@philasd.org and find out whatever you can about money going to your school...Ask for the complete budget broken down carefully... Just keep badgering...with RTK requests... And btw Don't tell the SDP to close more schools due to lack of staff. That will give them more excuses to close schools. Has anyone asked why some of the schools were closed??? Let's wait about 15 years when everyone comes down with Asbestos related issues...Didn't know?? Should have asked...EPA is waiting for yor call. Don't even try to get info from Environmental..They say they don't know... SDP got 25 million for asbestos abatement...Where did they work. Your child has AStHMA...better find out if it's Chemical related from school... I'm saying what the others have said...more people need to stand up...They are stepping on you.
Submitted by MBA to M'Ed mom (not verified) on May 25, 2014 12:08 pm
Great information....thanks, I will be stepping up and making some calls. My child deserves it as does all our children in this city.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on May 27, 2014 11:42 pm
The teachers unions created regulations in PA to raise the cost of nurses. That is a fact. They dictated that a professionally trained RN is not qualified to work in a school here. PA is one of the few states with this absurd requirement. The unions goal was to increase pay and limit the supply of "qualified" people- they were serving their members, not the people of PA and certainly not the children. No surpirse, now the district can afford fewer "Certified" nurses. So cheap hucksters like Helen exploit a tragedy to blame lack of money. Nevermind the facts. That there was an RN on site and this poor student received the best attention possible. I guess if the RN just had her union card, all would be good. But with Helen every tragedy in life is an opportunity to exploit a call for higher taxes. Disgusting.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on June 2, 2014 1:27 pm
So you call a raise "creating regulations in PA to raise the cost of nurses"? Rrrright. In terms of your personal attack on the author, plenty of people, including the school community of Jackson, principals, school nurses, students and the Superintendent Hite himself have acknowledged this concern - but they're not trolling with the personal attacks. Finally, other than the personal attacks, are you actually on this comment stream to say NO NURSES in schools? Is that your point? Go ahead. Now that's a moral cause to hang your "anonymous" hat on.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on June 2, 2014 4:02 pm
When you raise the cost of something, people can afford less of it. This is true, even with government. If you are the party responsible for raising the costs of a service, then blaming the people who can afford less of that service is disingenuous. But by all means, don't let a good tragedy go to waste. Even if your demands have nothing to do with that tragedy.

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