Security eyed as Philadelphia schools merge

August 27, 2013 3:12:33 PM PDT
September 9th is more than just the start of the new school year. For the Philadelphia School District, it's also the start of campus mergers and concerns over student safety.

A block party at Martin Luther King High School was attended Tuesday by over 300 students who transferred from Germantown High, which was shut down because of budget-slashing school savings.

The party is one more milestone in combining the two student bodies that have long been bitter rivals.

"We are looking for routes to school and from school. We are taking precautions inside of schools," Karyn Lynch of Student Services said.

Philadelphia School Superintendent William Hite tells Action News officials are working with the police department, behavioral and mental health groups, and family courts to target resources.

For students coming to MLK from Germantown, .joint activities with King students have generated optimism.

"The students from King, I feel that everyone and can sit there and get along. I've met a couple King students, they're actually pretty cool," senior Jonathan Briggs said.

"The school is not bad; it could be some of the people in it. I think that if people will come together and actually start to communicate, I think it will be a better environment," junior Sarita Richards said.

The teaching staffs have been blended, hoping the goodwill is contagious.

"If we show them that we get along, show them that we care about them, they should get along. This is going to be a wonderful school year," business teacher Sharon Daniels said.

The football teams have bonded into one and they hope the team spirit spreads like wildfire.

"We are just going to get our sports team right; I don't think there's going to be any fighting or conflict," senior Mesharck Davis said.

"We come together like a family and we play like a team. If we bring that same attitude to the school, it'd be a positive thing," junior Raheem Page said.

With two weeks out from day one of the new term, King's veteran principal believes his hard work will pay off.

"I have in a sense cloned myself to walk around this building. I am very, very proud of some young people that are taking on the title of student ambassador," Principal William Wade said.

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