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Group Plans “Fast” In Protest Of Philadelphia School Cuts

Shyann Williams, 17, a senior at Kensington Urban Education Academy. At Tuesday's announcement of the fast. (credit: Tim Jimenez)

Shyann Williams, 17, a senior at Kensington Urban Education Academy. At Tuesday’s announcement of the fast. (credit: Tim Jimenez)

Tim Jimenez Tim Jimenez
Tim Jimenez is a general assignment reporter at KYW Newsradio...
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By Tim Jimenez

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The School District of Philadelphia laid off 1,200 school safety staffers as part of it’s so-called “Doomsday budget.” And with the school year fast approaching, a local group, concerned with safety, announced its plans to hold a “fast” next week in front of District headquarters.

Earlier this summer the group Unite Here! Philadelphia organized a 15-day fast in front of Governor Corbett’s office in the city. They are planning on doing it again, but this time in front of District headquarters at 440 North Broad Street on August 14th.

Earlene Blye, a parent and grandparent, will be without food again in order to send a message.

“So we need them to do the right thing with that money and bring back our student safety staff; keep our children safe. That’s the main priority here right now, is our children being safe when September comes,” said Blye.

And 17-year-old Shyann Williams says city and district leaders are adults who just don’t understand.

“You weren’t a student in this economy. You don’t know what it’s like. You adults have things to teach us and we’re ready to learn. But how can we learn if all you do is take things from us,” said Williams.

School district spokesperson Fernando Gallard released the following statement:

“We appreciate and welcome the passion and energy they are expressing in order to underline the urgent need for funding that our schools are facing. It is our hope that they continue to advocate for schools without placing themselves in harm’s way.”

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