Philly councilman empathizes with kids, alumni hurt by school closings

As the Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced Friday which Catholic schools will be closed, a Philadelphia city councilman said he has firsthand knowledge what it’s like to see your alma mater close.

Before this round of closures, Councilman Bobby Henon’s elementary school and high school both were shuttered by the archdiocese. Henon says the closings are difficult to go through.

“It’s heartbreaking for the alumni, for the parents and for the neighborhoods to see schools like this close,” Henon said.

Henon said he wants to make sure something is done with the former school buildings. He said North Catholic High School has been empty since it was closed in 2010.

  • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

“My alma mater is fenced off, there’s vandalism, it’s depressing,” he said. “It’s the broken-glass theory; you get the crack and it spider-waves out. That kind of vacant and unused building without community impact could deteriorate a neighborhood.”

Henon said he will be watching the process carefully as it unfolds.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal