by Diane Payne
Last month’s March 28th Action Meeting ended abruptly when the Board left the room after a hasty vote to recess. Sponsors and students from the Philadelphia Student Union (PSU) had disrupted the meeting after the Board voted to pass a policy that mandates metal detectors in all high schools. PSU had testified at Action and Committee meetings over the past the past three months and had met with District administrators to discuss the issue. (See APPS March 28th Ears for that report.) The Board never returned; without notice, they reconvened in another room and voted on the remaining Items there. Thus, many public speakers did not get to give their testimony. The Board had said that those people could go first at the April Meeting, but APPS members asked that they get their three minutes from March in addition to their three in April. Board President Joyce Wilkerson agreed to our request. A total of 78 speakers were listed.
All members of the Board were present for this meeting. Seven members of APPS attended; six testified in defense of public education.
Prior to the start of business, the Board read a tribute to longtime education activist Marciene Mattleman, one of the founders of the After School Activities Partnerships (ASAP), who passed away in March. Students from the various clubs who have participated in local and national competitions came with their trophies. Tributes were read by Board member Angela McIver, the current ASAP director, and Mattleman’s daughters. The importance of these non-athletic activities was later the subject of testimony by those who came to advocate for funding for their various clubs, including Chess, Scrabble, and Debate.