Parents are fighting for a Philadelphia elementary school police officer who was recently moved to another school.
In the midst of a budget crisis, the Philadelphia School District cut 91 school police officers citywide, including the lone officer at Shawmont Elementary School. Shawmont Elementary features 585 students in kindergarten through eighth grade.
A spokesperson said the district made the cuts based on which schools needed officers the most. In the midst of Monday’s incident in which an 8th grader assaulted a teacher, the explanation doesn’t sit well with parents of Shawmont students.
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“I feel safe with me being here with them but I have other friends with children that have to walk further,” said Christian Golas, a parent of twin boys who attend the school. “It’s a definite concern.”
Parents attended an emergency meeting on Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Ridge Avenue United Methodist Church in Roxborough where they expressed their frustrations.
"I'm devastated," said Janet McHale, a parent and co-president of the Home and School Association. "I'm at the point where I feel like the School District and the politicians in Harrisburg and in City Hall are using our kids as pawns."
"We understand we have issues," said Michelle Havens, a parent and co-president of the Home and School Association. "But there has to be another way to do it rather than risking student safety."
During the meeting, parents agreed to sign a petition expressing their opposition to the school officer cuts.