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Notes from the news, Dec. 16

By Erika Owens on Dec 16, 2009 11:37 AM

After Chinatown meeting, boycott suspended The Notebook blog
The students return to school while they wait for the District to improve school climate.

See also: Students 'suspend' boycott at South Phila. High The Inquirer
Asian Students Return to South Phila. HS After Talks KYW

Peacekeeper or bully with a short fuse? Daily News
Sgt. Samuels, a school police officer who was just transferred to South Philly High because he speaks Cantonese, had a reputation at his prior school.

What are we teaching our kids? Daily News (opinion)
This piece questions Nutter's praise for Ackerman's "immediate" action since it took her eight days to arrive at South Philly High.

See also: Nutter backs Ackerman’s handling of S. Philly High The Inquirer
UPDATED: Mayor Nutter jumps the shark Attytood
Arlene, you're doing a heckuva job Young Philly Politics

District seeking 'turnaround' applicants The Notebook blog
An information session today about doing business with the District is aimed at potential applicants for the Renaissance Schools program.

Editorial: Who's your daddy? The Inquirer
The Mayor and City Council are sending mixed messages about the BRT.

YMCA offers free membership to every 7th grader starting January 2010 PSU blog

Please email us if we missed anything today or if you have any suggestions of publications, email lists, or other places for us to check for news.

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Notes from the news

After Chinatown meeting, boycott suspended

By Paul Socolar on Dec 15, 2009 08:54 PM

Superintendent Arlene Ackerman, South Philadelphia High School Principal LaGreta Brown, and other District officials went to Chinatown late Tuesday afternoon to meet privately with students from South Philadelphia - and the meeting ended with Asian students from the school announcing that they plan to suspend their boycott, which was in its second week.

District seeking 'turnaround' applicants

By Dale Mezzacappa on Dec 15, 2009 07:09 PM

In an effort to widen the pool of potential operators of so-called Renaissance Schools, the District is holding two information sessions in December - one on Wednesday at 5 p.m. - detailing how to do business with the District. 

We need to stand together to fix our schools

By Eric Braxton on Dec 15, 2009 11:39 AM

On Sunday I attended a rally in support of the Asian students at South Philadelphia High School. 

It was a powerful and emotional event. 

Several adult speakers told stories about how they had been harassed in high school because they were Asian, but they did not have the courage or support to stand up like the students from South Philly.

Notes from the news, Dec. 15

By Erika Owens on Dec 15, 2009 05:38 AM

Human relations group steps in to Asian students' dispute WHYY
The city's Human Relations Commission met with District and community leaders on Monday.

See also: Rights Commission, officials meet on S. Philly High The Inquirer
Tensions among students at South Philadelphia High School Radio Times
Asian Community Leaders, District Talk
FOX 29

Protesters want outside probe of incident at Frankford High Daily News
The protesters rallied on Monday to support Frankford High student Jeff Thomas, who says he was beaten by two truancy officers. The officers are still on the job.

See also: Group Wants Student Beating Case Probed FOX 29
Probe called for in alleged student beatings by security officers The Inquirer
Rally held for student charged with assault 6 ABC
Group Wants Probe Of Philly School Altercation AP via CBS 3

South Phila. High principal left A.C. post under pressure The Inquirer
Philly District officials say they are unconcerned about Brown's rocky past since she was exonerated.

City schools need dialogue The Inquirer (opinion)
Two Teacher Action Group members penned this editorial about how to improve school climate.

School not treating mom uniformly? The Inquirer
The mom has been speaking out against Northeast High's new uniform policy, and the District has asked her to stop speaking at parent roundtables.

New Media charter long past deadline to overhaul leadership The Inquirer

Nutter tells BRT workers to quit politics, take test The Inquirer

Please email us if we missed anything today or if you have any suggestions of publications, email lists, or other places for us to check for news.

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Notes from the news

Notes from the news, Dec. 14

By Erika Owens on Dec 14, 2009 11:09 AM

100 rally to support S. Phila. High's Asian students The Inquirer
The event was held by Asian Americans United, whose members said that "there is a broad community of people who care about them and all of the students at the school."

See also: Gearing up for a long struggle at S. Philly The Notebook blog

City sets up meeting to mediate school ethnic tensions The Inquirer
The city Human Relations Commission called a meeting for Monday with District leaders and students and parents.

See also: HR Board Holds Meeting Amid Racial Violence at S. Philly High KYW
Attacks Against Asian Students Prompt Private Meeting NBC 10
Sunday rally, Monday meeting on S. Philly The Notebook blog

Principal had a rocky end at old job Daily News
South Philly Principal LaGreta Brown had a controversial history in New Jersey.

See also: South Philly principal had troubles in NJ The Notebook blog

Federal complaint expected on school violence The Inquirer
The complaint will claim violation of the students' 14th Amendment equal protection rights.

See also: Rights complaint planned in Philly school attacks Forbes via AP

Phila. school violence abetted by Pa. officials The Inquirer (opinion)
Former safety watchdog Jack Stollsteimer wrote about how whenever he tried to fix things he "ran into a brick wall of resistance" from the state.

Please email us if we missed anything today or if you have any suggestions of publications, email lists, or other places for us to check for news.

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Notes from the news

Gearing up for a long struggle at S. Philly

By Paul Socolar on Dec 13, 2009 11:46 PM

Before a multiracial crowd of about 100 adult and student supporters on Sunday, several of the Asian students who have been boycotting South Philadelphia High School since the violent attacks of December 3 aired their frustration that their efforts have not gotten more support from the school administration and the District.

The crowd braved a steady downpour to attend what was billed as a "Rally to support the South Philadelphia High School students" at Arch Street United Methodist Church in Center City.

Sunday rally, Monday meeting on S. Philly

By Paul Socolar on Dec 13, 2009 11:56 AM

Asian students who have been boycotting South Philadelphia High School for the past week due to concerns about violence targeting them have scheduled a "Rally to support the SPHS students" on Sunday from 3-5 p.m. at the Arch Street Methodist Church, 55 N. Broad St. Attendees are invited to bring "your thoughts, a poem, song or brief statement that you would like to share with the students."

'Come back to school on Monday'

By Erika Owens on Dec 11, 2009 02:05 PM

At a Friday press conference, Superintendent Ackerman made her first appearance at South Philadelphia High School since the attacks last week. Ackerman and South Philly Principal LaGreta Brown unveiled a 13-point safety plan, and promised its immediate implementation.. Ackerman repeatedly urged students to return to school.

Notes from the news, Dec. 11

By Erika Owens on Dec 11, 2009 10:32 AM

South Philly principal had troubles in NJ The Notebook blog
LeGreta Brown was recruited to lead South Philly. The Press of Atlantic City reported she had several rough spots in previous positions. At 10:15 there will be a press conference with Brown.

Editorial: No justice, no peace The Inquirer
This piece reiterated the Asian students' point that the problem at South Philly is how adults handled the situation. It called the current task force and safety plans "welcome moves," but urged more to be done.

See also: Annette John-Hall: Weak response to school beatings The Inquirer
Union says S. Phila. High needs more full-time officers The Inquirer
Lawmakers: Bring Back Safe Schools Office FOX 29
Racial violence besets Philadelphia school UPI
Are Asian Students at South Philly High Becoming a Target? Answer may not be Black and White Philly2Philly.com

Immigrant students and their mental health The Notebook blog
This post looked at some of the ways the District helps immigrant students, and includes a video with Roger Pin, Cambodian Family Advocate.

Will Council support abolishing the BRT? It's Our Money

No vote on table games or college funding The Inquirer

Please email us if we missed anything today or if you have any suggestions of publications, email lists, or other places for us to check for news.

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South Philly principal had troubles in NJ

By Dale Mezzacappa on Dec 10, 2009 10:50 PM

South Philadelphia High School principal LaGreta Brown, who has been notably silent during the recent controversy regarding the safety of Asian students, once received a “no-confidence” vote from her faculty when she was principal of Atlantic City High School.

[EDIT: After a press conference Friday morning, when asked for comment about the controversies around her tenure in Atlantic City, Brown said, "It speaks for itself that all the issues were resolved."}

Immigrant students and their mental health

By Gustavo Martínez on Dec 10, 2009 03:38 PM

Last week several Asian students were attacked in South Philadelphia High. They have complained that school and District authorities haven't responded to their concerns sufficiently.

The relevance of caring for these students' needs is highlighted in the work of  Eileen Gale Kugler and Olga Acosta Price in their report "Helping immigrant and refugee students succeed: It’s not just what happens in the classroom," in which they stress the need to provide newly arrived children and their families with the culturally competent assistance they require.  

This is the first part of a series of postings in which we will talk about these issues. Check for a follow-up soon.

Notes from the news, Dec. 10

By Erika Owens on Dec 10, 2009 11:12 AM

Targeted because we're Asian: South Philly students speak out about racial assaults Young Philly Politics
Asian students outlined how staff responded, or not, last week.

See also: Asians say officials, not kids, are the problem at South Philly high Daily News
Asian Students Protest Interracial Violence Philadelphia Weekly
'Targeted because we are Asian immigrants' The Notebook blog
Asian groups tell Philly school board of assaults AP

Ackerman unveils South Philly plans The Notebook blog
The District will create a diversity committee, hire an outside investigator to look into the violence, and more.

See also: Phila. Schools Hire Outside Investigator Amid Racial Violence KYW
Phila district to hire investigator to probe violence The Inquirer
Better safe than sorry South Philly Review
District Investigates Racial Attacks at South Philly High NBC 10
Pa Human Rights will air strife on South Philly High The Inquirer
Teacher says she quit because of racial violence at city school WHYY

Special Report: Violence at South Philly High Metropolis
Metropolis is a new site from former Inquirer columnist Tom Ferrick, Jr. It has a package of coverage about South Philly. In the special report, G.W. Miller, III followed up on his PW story and in part II, Jack Stollsteimer offered his take.

City takes first steps to abolish BRT The Inquirer

Phila. student says he - not officers - was assaulted The Inquirer
A Frankford High student says he was assaulted by school truancy officers.

See also: Report: School Cops Beat Student for Being Late NBC 10
Football Star Claims School Cop Beating FOX 29

Please email us if we missed anything today or if you have any suggestions of publications, email lists, or other places for us to check for news.

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Ackerman unveils South Philly plans

By Paul Socolar on Dec 9, 2009 05:51 PM

The second floor auditorium at District headquarters was packed with students and families concerned about the violence at South Philadelphia High School at Wednesday afternoon's School Reform Commission meeting -- holding signs saying "Stop School Violence" and "It's not a question of who beat whom, but who let it happen."

In lengthy opening remarks, Superintendent Arlene Ackerman, noting that this is national Inclusive Schools Week, directly spoke to the issue of what adults in the District would do to prevent such violence, stating the District's commitment to "safe learning environments where everyone belongs and everyone benefits."

Asian students and allies speak to SRC

By Paul Socolar on Dec 9, 2009 05:45 PM

Just a few highlights from two hours of testimony today by Asian students at South Philadelphia and supporting organizations are below. Video provided by Gustavo Martinez.

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