About 250 people staged a loud, traffic-stopping march through downtown Philadelphia yesterday, demanding an end to violence in the schools, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. The demonstrators sought to celebrate and emulate the work of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on his birthday.
School violence has become a contentious issue in the city, most recently because of the Dec. 3 attack on 30 Asian students by groups of mostly African American classmates at a high school. The assaults sent seven young people to hospitals and sparked a boycott by about 50 Asian students. Attorneys for the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund pledged to file a federal civil rights complaint against the district – a claim that could be lodged today. “No student should be afraid to go to school,” said Kimora Lamott, a 17-year-old high school senior.