Philadelphia and the Denver suburb of Aurora, CO might be over 1,700 miles apart, but there are some distressing similarities in the way they’re both treating the ugly social trend of bullying.
In Aurora, 10-year old Ashawnty Davis died from complications of an attempted suicide two-weeks earlier, the terrifying result of overwhelming stress due to constant harassment and violent bullying at school. Her mother discovered her hanging in a closet at home and the reasons unraveled from there: a 5th-grader struggling to cope with a relentless barrage of harassment at school and then the snapping moment when her resistance against a bully was recorded and cruelly shared on Musical.ly. When the taunts of classroom peers wouldn’t stop, Ashawnty simply gave up.
Head back east, and there is very little difference between the flat, clinical and compassionate-less way the the Aurora school district reacted and how the Philadelphia School District itself treats bullying. The city and district don’t care about the widespread bullying problem in its schools; it never has and it shows very little stomach to address it in any concerted way. That’s worrisome at a time when the city eagerly dives back in to local control of the $3 billion system while struggling with a resurgence in violent crime and homicides.