Phila. school officials talk solutions to school violence

April 12, 2013 4:05:54 PM PDT
Philadelphia's school superintendent and the school district's top police officer spoke exclusively to Action News about curbing school violence.

"We don't want to see the lives of our young people cut short, especially as the result of an act of senseless violence," said Superintendent William Hite.

Supt. Hite and Chief Inspector Cynthia Dorsey are urging students and parents to get more involved to stop the senseless violence.

"We think of violence in high schools and middle schools. We need to be more proactive and think of elementary schools and their students," said Chief Inspector Dorsey.

"The thing we need to do as adults and as a school district is make sure we're responding with help and assistance, with direction and other ways that children can think about resolving those conflicts,' said Supt. Hite.

Chief Inspector Dorsey wants students to take advantage of the district's hotline to alert teachers and faculty who can stop conflicts and potential dangers.

The district is creating a new curriculum and programs to help with conflict resolution.

So far it's been implemented in a half dozen schools and more than two dozen will get the programs next year.

Supt. Hite says schools that are classified as persistently dangerous are down but Thursday's shooting outside Overbrook High School is deeply troubling and reveals the dangers persistent in the city's schools.

"For the most part, we've been much better at addressing issues before they result in violent incidents than we have in the pass," said Supt. Hite.

School officials are growing more concerned as the weather warms up. Parents and students are urged to report troubling behavior to the district's hotline at 215-400-SAFE (7233).