Ears on the Board of Education: November 17, 2022
by Diane Payne
A Philadelphia Inquirer article published the day before this meeting told of the crisis at Dobbins High School and the ongoing danger to both students and staff. To longtime observers, it came as no surprise that Superintendent Tony Watlington, Sr., in his opening remarks, made no attempt to address the charges of administrative failure leveled by Dobbins parents, nor did any Board member ask him to address the safety issues raised in the article. Not a word was heard until Dobbins’ parent Antoine Little testified and demanded action. Like his predecessor, Watlington responded by asking a district staffer to speak to the parent outside rather than address the issue openly.
Ironically, the Guardrail discussed at this meeting was Guardrail 1, Safe and Supportive School Environment. Once again, the Board opted to hash out obscure data rather than deal with the lived reality of the students and staff at Dobbins.