PFT President Jerry Jordan on the Ongoing Scourge of Violence in Philadelphia

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November 23, 2021

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

PHILADELPHIA—"The level of loss, heartbreak, and of lives stolen and cut short due to the ongoing scourge of violence in Philadelphia is simply horrific. A multi-pronged approach to this emergency is desperately needed, and we need additional supports in our schools to provide needed resources for our young people.

"On Friday, 24 year old Sykea Patton was murdered in front of her young twins, and on Saturday Jessica Covington was slain along with her unborn baby as she left her baby shower. And not long ago, Marcus Stokes, in just seventh grade, was murdered on his way to school. This level of profound loss is simply unbearable. We are approaching 500 murders in 2021, and each of these killings is simply unconscionable, and every time we learn of another loss, it is just a reminder of how much more we need to do to stop this heartache.

"Further, last week's assault of Asian-American students is devastating. The trauma the students endured—racist slurs, harassment, and horrific beatings—is simply appalling. I offer heartfelt wishes for emotional and physical healing.

"On behalf of the PFT, I extend my sincere condolences to all who have lost loved ones. 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 pledge to continue our work towards equity and justice."