extracurriculars school safety

Extracurriculars Keep Our Students Safe

Originally published at The Philadelphia Citizen

The murder outside the Roxborough High School and Boys’ Latin junior varsity football scrimmage is a heinous tragedy. Five teenagers were shot, and the 14-year-old boy who lost his life was — from all accounts — a remarkable young man who looked for ways to get along with everyone he met. Our kids, parents, and community are still dealing with trauma. And understandably, several high schools in the area postponed, canceled, or adjusted their football games. Meanwhile, Philadelphia parents are left wondering: Are extracurriculars, like football, worth it?

Keeping our students safe must be our utmost priority. We need to utilize the school district and Philadelphia police, and implement security measures that ensure a tragedy like this never happens again.

But now is also an opportunity to evaluate the role extracurriculars play in our students’ educationStreet violence, like the Roxborough shooting, discourages participation in extracurriculars like sports — the very activities organizers and families hope will prevent violence. We must take the counterintuitive step of insisting on more after-school activities and more participation. We cannot cancel high school football long-term and surrender what we know to be essential learning opportunities for our students

Read more at The Philadelphia Citizen