PFT President Jerry Jordan on the Continued Escalation of Violence in Philadelphia

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November 29, 2021

On the ongoing crisis of violence, PFT President Jerry Jordan issued the following statement:

PHILADELPHIA—"I am outraged and heartsick that during the last several days, we have seen a further intensification of deadly violence in our beloved city. This afternoon, in broad daylight, while waiting for the bus, a young boy of only 14 years old was gunned down. Just yesterday, a 16 year old boy, Kanye Davis, was slain after being shot at least 8 times. Also yesterday, 21 year old Temple student Samuel Sean Collington was gunned down in an attempted robbery. All were students with their whole lives ahead of them, whose families, friends, and communities of loved ones are now left enduring the trauma of their loss.

"The city has surpassed 500 murders this year, a grim milestone amidst a devastating year. Each and every one of the 506 people on that list should be alive today, and each and every person on that list leaves behind loved ones who are forever shaken by the deep and profound loss they have suffered.

"Students in our schools are reeling from the ongoing violence. Many of those lost are our students. Many are our students' families, friends, and loved ones. The impact this violence has on school communities is incalculable.

"As I shared last week, the PFT reiterates our call for more resources for all of our students: we need social emotional learning; we need social workers; and we need more school counselors. These resources will not be a panacea. But we need a comprehensive, community based strategy to address the crisis of violence, and a key element of that must be resources in our schools.

"I have lived in, and loved, this city for my entire life. This level of persistent loss, against the backdrop of a deadly pandemic, is too much to bear. It should shake all of us to our core, and it should spur us towards meaningful, collective action. 

"Tonight, though my thoughts are insufficient, I will be holding each and every victim and their families in my heart. I pledge to continue our union's work towards justice and equity."