PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Young witnesses to the gun violence in Philadelphia this summer now have to transition back into the classroom in two weeks. The School District of Philadelphia is ramping up its support staff, adding counselors and mental health providers as they prepare to welcome back students in the midst of an ongoing pandemic and gun violence epidemic.
Gut-wrenching emotion at the scene of another shooting in Philadelphia. Just after 7 p.m. on Monday, 18-year-old Khyrie Isaac was killed in an ambush-style shooting inside an SUV in the parking lot of a grocery store in Olney. A 19-year-old female was also shot and hospitalized.READ MORE: Pennsylvania High Court OKs 'Comfort Dogs' For Witnesses
Eyewitness News has confirmed Issac was an 11th-grade student at Fels High School in the Crescentville section of the city.
As gun violence among teenagers continues to rise nearly daily throughout Philadelphia, the school district is preparing to welcome back all students for in-person learning in just two weeks.
Many are bringing the scars of neighborhood violence with them. Dr. Jayme Banks is deputy chief of prevention intervention and trauma for the district.READ MORE: Woman Killed After Shooting Inside Kensington Home, Police Say
“Definitely looking at relationships and helping our students relate to each other. Studies are showing that having just one trusted adult in your life allows you to help you deal with such situations,” Banks said.
The school district has increased the number of counselors this year as they prepare to deal with pandemic-weary students and those caught in the midst of the gun violence epidemic.
“Every school has at least a counselor. We have about 50 new counselors. On average, we usually have under 30,” Banks said.
Layers of support have been added to a school year following a year like none other.MORE NEWS: Cars Towed, Scrapped In Wilmington Leads To Federal Lawsuit
Starting next week, counselors will begin enhanced training on conflict resolution among other situations. Teachers will also be going through training sessions as well.