Assault on Learning: a sneak preview

So, the seven-part investigative series four colleagues and I have been working on for the past year runs beginning tomorrow.  Assault on Learning is a look at violence in the Philadelphia School District.

In addition to the story, photos and graphics, there are online exclusives available beginning tomorrow at http://www.philly.com/schoolviolence.  There, you'll be able to see videos and explore a database of school-by-school violence.

Here's the lineup of stories:

Sunday - In Philadelphia, schools are no sanctuary.  The specter of violence traumatizes students and stifles learning.  And assaults persist as a growing share of serious crime.

Monday - District records have gaps - the violent incidents that do not get reported to the district's central office and that never get reported to Philadelphia police.

Tuesday - Age poses no barrier to school violence.  Children younger than 10 assault and threaten classmates and teachers, and a number of these incidents have sexual overtones.

Wednesday - Many Philadelphia teachers face danger and frustration daily as they try to cope with violent students.  Teachers speak out.

Thursday - A district program aimed at helping violent students has become little more than a paper shuffle.  It enrolls a high percentage of the district's students, offering many of them scant help.

Friday - Programs do exist to reduce in-school violence, but the Philadelphia School District has failed to embrace them widely.  Some of the best examples are close to home.

Next Sunday - Healing a wounded South Philadelphia High School has fallen largely on the broad shoulders of principal Otis Hackney.

Continue Reading