Anti-Violence Rally Held Outside Southwest Philadelphia High School
By Syma Chowdhry and Justin Udo
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- City officials, school staff and the Philadelphia teachers union held an anti-violence rally outside of the troubled Bartram High School Wednesday afternoon.
This after a teacher was attacked by a student last week, making it the third assault against a staff member in a month.
"They're going to school on a daily basis fearing if they are going to get knocked upside their head," said Philadelphia Councilman Kenyatta Johnson.
Last week's assault went viral after students took pictures and video.
The victim? Pewu Johnson, a 68-year-old substitute teacher from Liberia.
He says the 18-year-old that attacked him was not supposed to be in his class and was being inappropriate with a female student.
"This is not your bedroom. This is not your living room. Stop that," said the teacher.
The student cursed at Johnson, shoved him and left class.
"This boy can be my grandchild telling me, 'F out of my face,'" said Johnson.
The two saw each other later in the day and that's when Johnson, who is 5 feet 4 inches tall, was assaulted by the student.
"Body slammed me on the floor and I fell down on my head," said Johnson.
He suffered injuries on his neck, back and elbow and was taken to the hospital.
Johnson says the school needs to beef up security.
"It's not good, not good all," said Johnson.
Teachers are now asking for more resources and staff to ward off the violence, but officials say parents have to join them in this effort.
"It's the parents' job to step up to the plate and tell their children, when you go to school sit your behind down and listen to the teacher," Councilman Johnson said.
Moussa Kane, a senior at Bartram, says part of the reason students are acting unruly is because there is a lack of resources to help keep them in line.
"We need more help from people to bring our school to a level that I feel we could be at," Kane said.
Kane says that level means eliminating violence within the school walls and helping students learn productive ways to deal with their issues.
And he thinks the rally to address these problems was much needed.
"I feel like they're finally taking a step towards a better Bartram," said Kane.
The school's principal says a home and school association is needed to get parents more involved.
As for Johnson, he is not sure when he will be able to return back to work because of his injuries.
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