Community Comes Together To Stop Violence At Bartram High School
By Justin Udo
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Multiple fights and mini-melees have plagued Bartram High School over the last few weeks.
Thursday night, Philadelphia School District officials, parents and local leaders sat down to discuss what they can do to get the school on the right track.
Dozens of people in the community came out to the meeting, and some voiced their frustrations with the school.
“My child has been bullied here, my little cousin just got attacked,” a parent said.
“Offer these kids something, they need hope,” another parent said.
Many also had ideas on how to fix the school’s ongoing problems.
“I suggest that everybody here today at least get five kids and mentor them, you got to get them out of the hood,” a parent said.
“We need more parents to come out and support Bartram,” another parent added.
Community leaders like Councilman Kenyatta Johnson were there showing support, and vowing to help change the culture at the school.
“My office is going to step up to the plate and see how we can be supportive of the district effort,” Councilman Johnson said.
As CBS 3’s Diana Rocco reports, this week school leaders called in police officers to guard hallways.
Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams addressed students and the district called in a former Philadelphia principal and Army Captain to co-lead.
“We’re not here to joke. The basic part of think is to make it a safe environment for the students, to make it a safe environment for the staff,” Ozzie Wright, Co-Principal of Bartram High School said.
“The uniforms are here for stabilization. But this is not the new normal,” Chief Charles Holmes of Philadelphia Police said.
School District Superintendent Dr. William Hite says they will take the suggestions and ideas from Thursday’s meeting as they formulate a plan to help make Bartram a better school.
The school has already started enforcing a dress code and bringing more police in to the school.