School officials assess violence at Bartram High School

Watch report from Action News
April 4, 2014 4:02:09 PM PDT
Another incident has re-affirmed Bartram High School's status as ground zero in the world of school violence, and the Philadelphia School District says it is prepared to do something about it.

The school district says it has a plan that will go into effect on Monday.

Bartram High is once again in crisis with another ugly brawl caught on cellphone video in the school's cafeteria on Tuesday.

Teens can be seen punching and stomping each other and the school police.

The school district says a crackdown will formally begin Monday with a beefed up blend of school and city police to quell the violence and set the stage for research and assessments.

"You see that school police are there immediately on the scene, but even when you have a police force on the scene, the students are not reacting to that, they are still doing what they're doing," said Fernando Gallard, School District spokesperson.

Two weeks ago, Alphonso Stevenson, one of the school district's "conflict resolution specialists", suffered a fractured skull and other injuries after a 17-year old student pummeled him to the floor.

"There are fights often, but not every day," said senior Jordan Yarborough.

Paul "Earthquake" Moore is a graduate of Bartram High School. The veteran anti-violence activist says the problem stems from way back in the home.

"The parents have to stop being scared of their children. It starts from age 6, and when they get to age 16 and 17, they get the attitude that 'I'll do what I want'," said Moore.

The district's veteran trouble shooter Ozzie Wright has been named co-principal at Bartram. He has been credited for straightening out an out-of-control West Philadelphia High several years ago.

"He is there several days a week right now, and he will be there until we deem this situation is under control," said Gallard.

Getting Bartram under control will be the main topic at a community meeting next Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at Bartram High School.

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