Philly’s Kids Need Your SupportPosted June 28th, 2013 by Earlene Bly
Last week, with three other parents and Philadelphia public school staff, I began the Fast for Safe Schools. For eight days encamped on the steps of Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett’s regional office, we went without a bite of food or a sip of juice to bring attention to the fact that Philadelphia’s kids are in danger. A group of even more parents and staff are continuing the fast, now on Day 11, until the elected leaders of Pennsylvania act to prioritize the safety of Philadelphia’s kids.
I have a daughter in high school and a grandson entering elementary school in the fall. They are both in the School District of Philadelphia, which just weeks ago announced the layoff of over 3700 employees. The largest group was 1,202 student safety staff. Across the entire district, only 12 student safety staff, also known as noontime aides, are slated to remain employed in the fall.
Teachers cannot watch our children every moment of the day. Our children are most vulnerable when they’re in the hallways going from class to class, when they’re in the lunchroom or at recess. That’s when the student safety staff are there to keep our kids out of danger, to stop fights, to keep an eye out for outsiders that may do our children harm.
Student safety staff looked out for me when I was school – I just want the same for my daughter, for my grandson, for all our children.
As the Pennsylvania budget gets finalized in the next few days, I want Governor Corbett to put our children first. What type of future can they hope to have if they can’t even go to school and learn in a safe environment?
Follow the Fast for Safe Schools on Facebook or on Twitter via #phillyfast.