In the school that my granddaughter was in there was absolutely no supervision (she was hurt badly twice by rowdy kids just horsing around). The really sad thing was that none of the school yard aids even saw what happened either time, so offered no assistance. A couple of older girls, both times, had to take her to the nurse's office for first aid and to call her parents. The second time it happened my son-in-law went to the school to discuss the matter with the principal and teacher. The only thing that resulted was an apology from the little boy who had hurt her the second time (he was angry because she wouldn't go ask some other kids to play with him, so he threatened her, she ran and clung to the school yard fence, he pulled her off and threw her to the ground, banging her head on the concrete [she had to be monitored for signs of a concussion]...his version was that he was trying to keep her from falling after he pulled her off the fence.) Nothing was done about the lack of guidance and supervision in the school yard as a whole by the aids who are paid to be there to keep order and protect the kids from 'accidents'. Also, there has been no crossing guard at the intersection where she had to cross, for over a year. The one who's post it is went out for ankle surgery in April of 2000, and as of June of 2001, she is still out on disability. The city cannot replace a guard who is on disability if that person intends to come back at some point in time, not even a temporary replacement...something to do with the city union's rules. Police officers are assigned as available when guards are out, if available. There was an officer at the intersection twice in that whole time. I called the district and was told it wasn't a prioity for them, if someone is available they will be there, if not, they won't. I called my city councilperson and was told nothing could be done due to the fact that the permanent full-time guard is on disability and cannot be replaced. Nothing could be done, period. Petitions were signed by the parents...nothing came of it. I called my local newspaper. I was told that they couldn't tell me what to do but did tell me that the only thing that would get attention would be an act of civil disobedience, blocking the intersection at rush hour, morning and afternoon, until the issue was addressed. This is no ordinary intersection either. It is a six lane street that serves as the main on and off access for Interstate 95 in my neighborhood. Adults have almost been run over by speeding cars while attempting to get across, let alone little kids. Before we decided whether we wanted to proceed with this plan, it was decided, if at all possible, that Nicole would attend private school next year (directly across the street from her old school, eliminating the need to cross the intersection and where the kids are monitored in class and in the school yard and where rough-housing is not tolerated, and by teachers who are paid considerably less than the ones in the public system. Scholastic achievment is much higher also than in the public system in our area, yet it is the teachers in the public system threatening to strike for higher wages...again). The median income in the Philadelphia system for a teacher with a BA is approximately $38,000. They want wages more in line with the teachers in more affluent neighboring suburban school districts (such as Council Rock, one of the best districts in the nation) where some teachers are able to achieve salaries close to $85,000 per year and where the median is about $50,000. The median income in my area at the private school is approximately $24,000 for a teacher with a BA...now that's really sad, but for some reason, they seem to do a better job than their counterparts in the public system. I wonder why that is? So now, for us, we don't have the problem anymore. I feel bad for the parents and kids who still have to deal with this and hope that they can do something that will get their voices heard. It's a real shame that nothing could be accomplished through all the so-called legal channels.
[This message has been edited by Denise (edited 08-12-2001).]