PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Mayor Michael Nutter and other officials toured a North Philadelphia high school today, to look at its security — on the same day a newspaper article suggested that things there could get a lot tougher.

The mayor and his entourage walked from the din of a hallway at Strawberry Mansion High School into the relative calm of the library.  Principal Barbara Wells (center of photo), acting as tour guide, says she stressed that safety is job #1, so she and the staff make sure that students focus on education.

One problem, though, is that Strawberry Mansion is more than half empty and is on a list to be combined with nearby rival FitzSimons High.   An article quotes people as predicting big trouble.

“I’d really like us to imagine that all of the young people in this city are not bad kids,” the mayor responded, “that they’re not up to bad things, that actually most of them come to school to get a great education.”

Nutter acknowledges that sometimes outside issues come into schools and sometimes vice versa, but a flexible program of some in-place officers and others ready to respond has been the standard for about four years.

Reported by John Ostapkovich, KYW Newsradio 1060

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