PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – About a dozen students turned out for a rally this morning outside Philadelphia City Hall to protest school district plans to close certain alternative schools.

Princess Rahman (in photo) is one of the 43 percent of Philadelphia high school students who didn’t graduate in four years.  But she is getting her diploma this year, she says, thanks to a so-called “accelerated” school.

In her impassioned speech at the rally, Rahman blames school district officials for worrying only about the bottom line:

“You close down our schools, you’re supplying the guns.  You take away our funding, you’re supplying the ammunition.  The only thing left to do will be to sit back and watch the bloodshed, and by all means it will be on your hands.  Now, count your money with that on your conscience.”

City councilman Bill Green also addressed the crowd, saying if the school district expects more money from the city, it had better figure out how to fund the “alternative” schools for kids with disciplinary problems.

Reported by Jim Melwert, KYW Newsradio 1060

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