Fox Chase says no to new school - Philadelphia News

August 25, 2008 9:08:03 PM PDT
A vendor for the Philadelphia School District was planning to open a new school: The Rhawn School for students with disciplinary problems. The problem is they forgot to ask the residents of Fox Chase what they thought about that. Monday night, they got their response.

It was a standing room only crowd, to the point there were people standing outside the door and the message to the operators of the proposed disciplinary school was this:

"My question is to you, what day do you plan on opening, because I will be all my friends here to make sure that doesn't happen" Matt Tautenberger of Fox Chase said.

Fox Chase residents began to learn early last week that the Camelot School system was planning to turn the former Orleans Technical School on Rhawn near Dungan Road into a Philadelphia School District facility for 500 students with disciplinary problems. Residents tonight were furious and totally opposed.

The proposed school sits next to a senior citizen complex and across from a synagogue and new home development. Residents were also outraged that they only learned about the new school for troubled students from reading about it on the school district's web page last week.

After realizing the huge uproar, the school district announced it would not go through with the proposal.

"I don't think it would be safe to open Rhawn Academy in this neighborhood at this particular time, for a lot of reasons. Primarily, the process wasn't followed," Benjamin Wright of the Philadelphia School District said.

"We're going to try and work out another option, if it's possible?we're going to have to go back to the drawing board," Todd Bock of Camelot School System said.

The disciplinary school it's not going to happen in Fox Chase. Councilman Brian O'Neill says he won't believe it until he sees it. Meantime, Councilman Frank Rizzo, Jr. says he will help Camelot School systems find another site.

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