Friday, November 28, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

National TV profile of Strawberry Mansion will air Tuesday

Sawyer said last week that the national broadcast news program held the segment to allow more time to develop the story that looks at one of Philadelphia´s — and America´s — most dangerous schools. (ABC)
Sawyer said last week that the national broadcast news program held the segment to allow more time to develop the story that looks at one of Philadelphia's — and America's — most dangerous schools. (ABC)

After the postponement last week to a national news broadcast looking inside the walls of a dangerous, yet hopeful Strawberry Mansion High School, a segment on the school is now scheduled to run Tuesday night (May 21), according to ABC's "Nightly News with Diane Sawyer."

Originally scheduled to air last Tuesday on the 6:35 p.m. national broadcast and again at 12:35 a.m. Wednesday morning on ABC's "Nightline," Sawyer told Philly.com last week that the national news program held the segment to allow more time to develop the story that looks at one of Philadelphia's — and America's — most dangerous schools.

The segment will now air at 6:35 p.m. (May 21) nationally on ABC and again at 12:35 a.m. (May 22) on ABC's "Nightline" as part of Sawyer's ongoing series, "Hidden America," according to ABC's website.

Strawberry Mansion had more than 10 violent incidents per 100 students in each of the past five years, according to a recent Inquirer report on how school closures could affect district violence.

ABC News paints a somber picture in its press release of what will be profiled:

"435 high school students beginning the year. 94 cameras. 6 school police officers. 2 metal detectors. Welcome to Strawberry Mansion," the release said. "Most parents believe that our nation’s schools should be a safe haven for children — an environment that helps its students grow, develop, and learn what it takes to be successful as an adult — but at this school students have to be reminded not to bring their weapons into the school."

The high school, along with soon-to-close L.P. Hill Elementary School, takes up the entire block of Ridge Avenue between 31st and 32nd streets.

Despite the persistently dangerous environment, students and staff at Strawberry Mansion were thrilled when they heard Strawberry Mansion High was spared closure.

"It's better to keep the students here, where they know each other," Sally Hart, a member of the instructional-support staff told the Inquirer in February. "When you mix students from four, five, six different neighborhoods, you're asking for trouble because there's going to be conflict."

Still, the high school has its fourth principal in four years and Sawyer takes a look into the daunting job facing current Principal Linda Wayman.

"Linda Wayman who, together with a group of impassioned teachers, is looking to chart a new course for the school," an ABC press release said. "As a former assistant superintendent of public high schools in Philadelphia, she knew the task would be daunting, but her love of the students drew her to Strawberry Mansion. Sawyer asks what her most nerve-wracking time of the school day is — her answer: lunch."


Contact Brian X. McCrone at 215-854-2267 or bmccrone@philly.com. Follow @brianxmccrone on Twitter.

Contact the Breaking News Desk at 215-854-2443; BreakingNewsDesk@philly.com. Follow @phillynews on Twitter.

Brian X. McCrone PHILLY.COM
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