In the first of a seven-part series on violence in the Philadelphia schools that took five reporters a year to report, the Philadelphia Inquirer says there were 4,541 violent incidents last school year. On an average day, 25 students, teachers, or other staff members were beaten, robbed, sexually assaulted, or victims of other violent crimes. That doesn’t even include thousands more who are extorted, threatened, or bullied.
Teachers, students, and administrators told the newspaper that many incidents aren’t even reported. During the last school year, 183 cases came to the district’s attention only after the city police made arrests. Violence in the schools is more than the sheer numbers. The specter of violence traumatizes students and teachers, and stifles learning.