Our children are under attack - This week, fight back

On Friday afternoon, the students of Dimner Beeber Middle School at 59th and Malvern converged on the front steps of the school building for what could have been a pep rally. If you didn’t know why, the spirited scene probably would have made you smile. There were cheerleaders with pompoms, and kids waving homemade signs and puppets, and lots of shouting and laughing. There were parents, grandparents, alumni, siblings, teachers, retired teachers, neighbors and supporters from around the city there to back them up.

But the cheers from this group of nine-year-olds, ten-year-olds, eleven- and twelve- and thirteen-year olds could break your heart. “Save our school,” the cheerleaders chanted. “We want to keep our school open,” the crowd of pre-teens replied.

This Thursday, the School Reform Commission will decide the fate of 27 of the 29 schools that Superintendent William Hite has recommended close.  And it’s not just 14,000 young people’s educations hanging in the balance. This assault on the future of public education is happening hand-in-hand with the assault on our public fire services, libraries, streets department – the institutions that secure dignified lives for the people of our city, state and country.

In every corner of the city, Philadelphians are rallying to save our schools, and secure a better future for our children, grandchildren and ourselves.  Here are some opportunities to join the students of Beeber Middle School and thousands of others this week: