The epidemic of gun violence on the streets of Philadelphia is one of the most serious and disturbing problems for social peace, in a city where in 2022 alone, nearly 200 minors were shot in shootings throughout all its neighborhoods.
The Board of Education has declared that it is outraged and disheartened that children and adults continue to be the innocent victims of gun violence in Philadelphia on a nearly daily basis. The Board regrets that the tragic and senseless shootings that happen in neighborhoods throughout the city, indelibly harm the school communities in myriad ways – taking lives, traumatizing survivors and threatening the collective wellbeing.
Board members have stated that this epidemic of gun violence reminds them that their mission is not only to educate our children and prepare them for college and careers, but also to provide safe, welcoming and healthy learning spaces. Their vision to ensure that all our learners are given an education that allows them to thrive, succeed and lead in a global society is embodied in the Goals & Guardrails strategic plan, which is a student-centered approach to educating all learners.
“If we want our students to learn, thrive and succeed – stated the Board – then we must ensure they are safe and physically and emotionally healthy, so they are ready to learn – wherever they are but especially as they go to and from school. The School District has put in place a number of measures to address safe passage to and from school; however, addressing gun violence requires a coordinated, comprehensive response”.
“It is our collective responsibility to come together and serve as a village for our children to support, educate, protect and inspire them to reach their greatest potential – especially when they face daunting challenges to their success and well-being,” said Board President Reginald L. Streater, Esq. “It is imperative that everyone in the city – government leaders, law enforcement officials, educators, the business community and healthcare professionals – comes together to devise effective ways to end this gun violence that is destroying communities.”