Parents object to Philly school safety chief with history of abuse claims

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The Philadelphia School District has made a controversial choice for its chief safety officer.

Some parents are not happy the district selected a veteran city police officer who’s been the subject of suits claiming physical abuse and sexual harassment.

 

Philadelphia schools have a lot of challenges — and safety is at the top of the list for many parents and students.

Gerald Wright, the co-founder of Parents United for Public Education, said he is surprised that, given the controversy about his history, that Chief Inspector Carl Holmes was tapped for the important role of chief safety officer.

“At a time where the district needs to build trust, there really needs to be a person in the role that doesn’t have any controversy and can immediately move out to rebuild trust with parents, schools and the community,” Wright said.

Lieutenant John Stanford is a spokesman for the Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey has full confidence in Holmes, said department spokesman Lt. John Stanford.

Ramsey believes it’s unfair to judge Holmes based on his past, Stanford said.

“He has the utmost confidence in Chief Holmes and his ability to be the chief safety officer,” he said. “It’s going to take the schools in the direction that we need to go.”

A school district representative could not be reached for comment.

 

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