By Diane Payne
The Board of Education held its final Action Meeting at the end of a year that upended the lives of every person in the world, including Philadelphia students and their families. The suffering, isolation, and fear felt by our most vulnerable citizens has been staggering–especially because so much of it was avoidable. One thing that stood out in this last public meeting was the apparent absence of District administrations’ awareness of this fact. At the November Action Meeting, Superintendent Hite, in answer to concerns raised about students’ mental health, promised to present this month the supports implemented by his administration. Students heading into the holiday season with prolonged time off from school, families whose breadwinners lost jobs and may not be able to afford to celebrate the holidays, some facing eviction–this would have been a perfect time to assure Board Members that our students have a safety net. But there was no presentation nor any question about it from any Board members.
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