I caught a preview of this while I was cooking dinner:
With unprecedented access, Diane Sawyer takes viewers inside what has been officially labeled one of the most dangerous high schools in America and reveals what it’s like to teach, to learn, and to try to gain a foothold in life there. The report airs Thursday, May 30 on “World News with Diane Sawyer” at 6:30 p.m., ET on the ABC Television Network and locally in Philadelphia on WPVI-TV. A special edition of “Nightline” will air later that night at 12:35 a.m., ET dedicated to this story.
435 high school students beginning the year. 94 cameras. 6 school police officers. 2 metal detectors. Welcome to Strawberry Mansion in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – considered one of the most dangerous high schools in the country for the last five years. 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.
Sawyer speaks with the school’s principal Linda Cliatt-Wayman who, together with a group of impassioned teachers, is looking to chart a new course for the school. Linda is the fourth principal the school has seen in four years. 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.
As I was watching I noticed something that was obvious but went unmentioned. See the pie chart at the bottom and you’ll see what I mean.
The student body at Strawberry Mansion is almost entirely black. So are the teachers, cops and staff. So is the neighborhood. So is 43% of Philadelphia. The mayor is black too.
Philadelphia is heavily Democratic. They voted for Obama last November, and the margin was so heavily in his favor that it swung the whole state to him too.
Maybe it’s just me, but don’t you think that’s a data point worth discussing?
I’ll watch Nightline tonight and talk about this story some more in the morning.