By Dan Wing

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Philadelphia School Board held a special hearing at their North Broad Street headquarters on Monday night, to take public comment on the proposed closure of Dimner Beeber Middle School and M. H. Stanton Elementary School.

Beeber students would be sent to Overbrook High, while Stanton students would be moved to Duckrey Elementary.

Parents, staff and students pleaded with school administrators and the School Reform Commission to reconsider the closures and their approach.

“When will you offer hope? You are planning to disrupt the entire landscape of the Philadelphia public education system, you take no thought to the damage you are causing our children,” said Nancy Winder, Home & School President of Dimner Beeber Middle School.

Teachers and parents from Beeber worried about the dangers of mixing middle school students with high school students, and wanted to see ninth graders sent to Beeber instead of all students going to Overbrook.

Stanton parents complained that their school had a larger student body than Duckrey, and that Stanton was a much safer neighborhood for children that age.

“It is not just an institution of learning, but a safe haven for the children in our immediate area,” said Sheena Beckton, a Stanton parent. “A safe haven for the destitute. A safe haven for the unwanted. A safe haven for the abused, and a safe haven for those who have no one else to turn to.”

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