From the Philadelphia Inquirer: One teacher calls it the "new normal" for southwest Philadelphia's Bartram High School: a massive brawl in the cafeteria, where students punched and stomped each other, and even attacked school police; firecrackers set off in the building; and the student who fractured the skull of a "conflict resolution specialist" is once again roaming the halls, just two weeks after the attack.
Insiders told the newspaper, the larger problem at the 1,100-student school "is the continued culture of chaos and disregard for authority."
According to the newspaper, four additional Philadelphia and school police officers will be at the school by Monday; a community meeting is planned; and the district has reached out to city officials to get social-services help for students who need it.
"We want to show students that this is a place where you come in, you learn, and adults are here to help you, to take care of you," district spokesman Fernando Gallard was quoted as saying.
The report includes video of the cafeteria brawl.
The Inquirer says Bartram has been a problem all year -- "with more students, less staff, one principal removed less than two weeks into the school year, and rampant class-cutting, fights, smoking, and other student problems."
CNSNews.com reported in January that the Obama administration has announced new "guidance" for schools, aimed at reducing out-of-school suspensions and eliminating racial disparities in school disciplinary proceedings.
Attorney General Eric Holder criticized zero tolerance policies, saying they “make students feel unwelcome in their own schools....Routine school discipline infractions should land students in the principal's office, not in a police precinct."