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School District Launches Major Effort To Stop Recent Violence At Bartram High School

By Jan Carabeo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Philadelphia School District is launching a major new effort to stop the violence at Bartram High School.

This follows a series of attacks.

A community meeting is scheduled for Thursday night to tackle what's unfortunately become normal for Bartram High School students.

"There are fights and all that, the regular, sometimes it gets out of control though," student Ricky Taylor said.

"It's like lean on me in there, and we're just waiting on Mr. Clark," student Unique Nelson said.

An atmosphere of violence making it hard for even the most dedicated of students to focus on learning.

"I would definitely like things to get better. Honor student, good grades, no problems. Please get it together," parent Kia McDaniels said.

In light of recent fights, including one at lunch that landed six students in cuffs and injured a police officer, Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams was brought in Thursday to speak with students.

"I can't be in every school, we can't put DAs and police everywhere, we wouldn't want to," Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams said. "But when there is such violence that they have here that takes it to another level."

And what happens here, Williams says, plays a big role in what he deals with everyday.

"The number one thing that we have in common for people who get arrested in Philadelphia is that they didn't finish high school. I want to make sure that they go to school," Williams said.

Meantime Superintendent Dr. William Hite says the environment at Bartram has improved recently with the addition of police and a new co-principal. But letting CBS 3 cameras inside during the school day to capture that, he says, would be too disruptive.

"It's opposite of what we're trying to do right now, and that's to project a sense of calm, to project a sense of order, to get students into classes as quickly as possible," Dr. William Hite said.

The community meeting at Bartram High School starts Thursday night at 6:30 p.m.

Following remarks by school leadership discussing what's already been done to improve safety, there will be an open mic.


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