Dozens Gather For School Closing Protest In West Philadelphia
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By Dan Wing
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The long line of school closure protests continued Monday evening as a couple dozen members of one West Philadelphia community gathered to voice their displeasure with the pending closure of Alexander Wilson Elementary school.
The group was gathered at the intersection of 47th and Woodland Avenue, spreading a simple message.
“Education is not just for the ‘haves’ and leave the have nots alone,” said one protester.
Thomas Henry lives in the neighborhood, and feels the situation is affecting the black community more than any other.
“They’re marching on Saturday to commemorate 50 years. Fifty years of struggle, inequity in education, in employment, in opportunities, and we’re struggling for the same thing today,” said Henry.
Orlando is wheelchair bound, and says the closures will be especially tough for special needs children.
“Their parents will not be able to travel with them, or give them the quality education that they need because the fundamental services that they need are not going to be there,” said Orlando.
Nine-year-old Carl is a student at Wilson, and he wasn’t very thrilled with the idea of leaving his school.
“I would be really sad,” said Carl.
City Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell was on hand, and said she would like to see city officials come up with a viable plan to get students from a closing school to their new one.
“They’ll say they are developing them, but nobody’s seen them either. So it’s just unfair. Communities shouldn’t suffer this way,” said Blackwell.