Where does the responsibility of schools to keep students safe end?
The parents of a Samuel Fels High School student are taking their 14-year-old daughter out of Philadelphia public schools after a group of girls beat and robbed the teen as she waited for a SEPTA bus.
“She hit me in my face, I was shocked, I didn’t know what happened,” the girl, who asked that she not be identified, told NBC10’s Katy Zachry.
Philadelphia Police said the attack began around 3 p.m. on Sept. 10 after she refused to give up her cell phone as she waited for the bus on the 5500 block of Summerdale Avenue in the city’s Summerdale neighborhood.
“She swung me by my hair and pulled me on ground," said the freshman. "So I got up and that’s when she took my phone, I yelled ‘please give me back my phone.’”
The girl didn’t give back the phone and the teen was left with a black eye. The girl’s family was upset that no bystander offered to help.
They also questioned where school employees were since the attack occurred about a block from Fels.
“You want to point the finger at the school, you want to point the finger at these kids, their parents, you wanna just blame,” said the girl’s mother Monet. “I just feel as though they need more security... someone who can be at these corners.”
Philadelphia School District Spokesman Fernando Gallard said that school police, a unit that wasn’t cut during the recent budget crisis, not teachers are tasked with monitoring the perimeter around schools but that there is no way they can prevent every incident.
“We are a large urban school district in an urban environment… unfortunately in an urban school district there are incidents that do occur,” said Gallard.
Extra school police patrols were added to the area after the attack.
The group that attacked the teen also attacked two other last week, according to police. No arrests have been made.
As for the teen, her family is looking to find a private school for her to attend.