Report: Cultural barriers spark violence in Philly schools

A new report on school violence in Philadelphia says the district has to do a better job bridging language and cultural barriers.

The 26-page report says racial conflicts are a widespread problem in Philadelphia’s public schools that interfere with learning.  Chair of the Commission on Human Relations Kay Kyungsun Yu said the district has trouble connecting with students who don’t speak English or don’t speak it well.

“Existing resources that are available around language access are not widely publicized and are underutilized because of that,” she said. “In addition to that, they are inadequate to meet the needs of students and parents.”

Yu says the commission has agreed to meet with the district quarterly to go over how they are working to resolve the problem.  The group wants the district to create “communities of respect” within every school.

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A district representative said it is reviewing the report and will consider recommendations to improve the learning climate.


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