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Philadelphia Mom Leads Walk Representing Her Kids’ Path To New School

Arica Simms (center, wearing brown jacket) makes the mile-long walk with her children. (credit: Mike DeNardo)

Arica Simms (center, wearing brown jacket) makes the mile-long walk with her children. (credit: Mike DeNardo)

Mike DeNardo Mike DeNardo
Mike DeNardo, a veteran of KYW Newsradio for more than 25 years,...
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By Mike DeNardo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - A Philadelphia parent opposed to the plan to close 37 public schools took to the streets yesterday to illustrate the longer walk to school her kids would have to make.

Arica Simms’ children go to Peirce Elementary, two blocks from their home near 24th and Lehigh. But if the district’s closure plan is adopted, her two young boys will be going to the Rhodes Middle School next year, a mile away. The district only provides transportation for students living a mile and a half or more from school.

Simms yesterday took her kids on the 20-minute walk to Rhodes. She fears for her boys walking through a different neighborhood.

“I know about the bullying. So because I know about the bullying that’s going on in neighborhoods and in schools, I fear for my kids.”

City Councilman Curtis Jones made the walk, too. He says the School District made its recommendation.

“Not taking into consideration distance, danger, different turfs.”

The School Reform Commission has received more than two dozen alternate community proposals to its closure plan. The SRC votes March 7.

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