The principal of Washington High School has been removed after students were arrested for assaulting a teacher.
Police said an instructor was teaching in his classroom at the North Philadelphia school when two alleged offenders, ages 16 and 17, pushed their way into the class around 10 a.m. on Monday, ABC reported, to retrieve a cellphone, which led to an assault on the teacher.
Police told ABC that one teen punched the teacher in his face, and the other teen pushed the teacher twice. Police added that those two were taken into custody Monday afternoon, and that a third teen was also taken into custody on Monday night.
The teacher was taken to Aria Torresdale Hospital as a precaution, according to ABC.
Due to ongoing problems, Philadelphia School District officials have removed the principal of the high school, Philly.com reported in a related article, adding that students and teachers at Washington High say that it has become unsafe, with students wandering hallways, skipping class and smoking, often without repercussions.
“Given the number of school safety incidents at Washington High School, the School District believes that the reassignment of the principal is necessary in order to quickly reset the school culture and expectations,” Fernando Gallard, Philadelphia School District spokesman told Philly.com.
Gene Jones, who was in his third year as principal at Washington, will remain a district employee, working at the district’s headquarters, Philly.com stated, also saying that his replacement was at Washington High on Tuesday.
Philadelphia Federation of Teachers president Jerry Jordan released a statement Tuesday morning decrying the violence at Washington.
“Every school should be a safe haven for our city’s children. There is never an excuse for a student to assault a school employee or another student,” Jordan said. “Yesterday’s incident at George Washington High School is emblematic of the complete negligence of the District in ensuring that our schools are places of community and learning. The educators and students at Washington and across Philadelphia are working and learning in unbearable circumstances.”
But he laid blame for disorder at the school onthe district’s reliance on a Source4Teachers contract providing substitute teachers across the district.
“By failing to fill vacancies in time to start the school year, and by allowing Source4Teachers to continue its failed attempt to provide substitutes for our schools, the District has not only jeopardized our children’s education, but their safety as well,” Jordan said.
“Our children and our educators cannot wait any longer. All year, the PFT has been calling for the termination of the Source4Teachers contract, as well as bringing to light the unacceptable number of vacancies in school buildings. The attack on an educator yesterday was a stark reminder of the urgency of these calls.”