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Strawberry Mansion High, Once One of US's Most Dangerous Schools, Receives Much Needed Hope, Help

Society & Culture  (tags: Strawberry_Mansion_High )

- 1632 days ago -
Strawberry Mansion High School, where 94 security cameras line the hallways and metal detectors are posted at every door, was once considered one of the most dangerous schools in the country. But for the first time in six years, that's no longer . . .

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Carole Sarcinello (338)
Thursday December 5, 2013, 10:37 am
[Posting for my friend and Care2 member, Tonya M., who is having difficulties submitting news.]
And besides, it's nice to read something positive for a refreshing change!

Angelika R (143)
Thursday December 5, 2013, 11:03 am
You got that right! thx Tonya for finding and *C for posting! Shows, with a will there's a way!

Mandi T (376)
Thursday December 5, 2013, 11:08 am
Yes it is Carole :-)

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Thursday December 5, 2013, 11:30 am
When searching to make sure no one else had posted this for Tonya, I was pleased to see that Kit B. had submitted an article regarding this school almost a year ago:
Philadelphia's Charter School Expansion Crushing Public Schools

Henriette Matthijssen (154)
Thursday December 5, 2013, 11:42 am
Wish them a continued success! Thanks Carol for posting!

Pat B (356)
Thursday December 5, 2013, 12:08 pm
Good story about Strawberry Mansion HS which is in the poorest parts of Philadelphia, PA., kudos to Ms. Wayman, Principal, for caring, and turning the students/school around, how awesome is that??. Loved her daily saying on the intercom: "And remember, if nobody told you I love you today, you remember that I do". Thank you for sharing this great story, Tonya, and Carole for posting the story.

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Thursday December 5, 2013, 12:12 pm

Thanks, Pat. (I had a feeling that, with your background in education, you'd enjoy this.)


Animae C (513)
Thursday December 5, 2013, 2:26 pm
Thank you Carole

Arielle S (313)
Thursday December 5, 2013, 4:12 pm
Amazing what CAN be done!

Sheryl G (360)
Thursday December 5, 2013, 5:07 pm
The dedication of many people throughout this Country is there. Beautiful hard working individuals who see the value of each person. None of these people however should have to struggle this hard, schools should not be dependent upon a TV news crew and some one time donations, or a famous celebrity to stumble upon the news.

As anyone in the trades understands, the foundation of the building must be done correctly else everything else will be off or will crumble into the ground. Our children are the foundation of the Nation, they will grow up to offer their talents and intellect if given a chance, but far too many never get the chance to do so. We have a Nation that has lost it's way, we use to have an educational system that was the worlds envy. We still have a lot of building blocks there in which to restore our educational system, but it takes a National movement to take a stand for our children.

At this time we have failed policies in the schools for there is little respect given to the educators, that needs to be returned and the teachers need to be consulted and offer their ideas. Right now we have the Bill Gates Common Core in the schools here in Florida. It's terrible, the children hate it, the teachers hate it, but because of the cutbacks this is money given by the Gates......but has strings attached. Education will be done their way and it's experimental.

The teachers and parents were not consulted and if this experiment fails who is left holding the bag, all the students that were experimented upon. I've been researching on the computer about this Common Core and what I'm reading is not very assuring to me. That they changed all the rules and implemented this in the middle of the school year is also been upsetting for the students.

We must come to terms that the experiment of Capitalism without any regulations has failed, it fails our children our disabled, our Elders and everyone else in between. Too many of the youth are still having to live with their parents as they have high school loans or can't find work. If they are working the Companies want to pay as little as possible. Is a shame when I find out there are college educated twenty somethings scooping ice cream because they can't find a job with their degree.

That too many live in cars and wash up in McDonald's bathrooms before going to work as they do not make enough an hour or are employed enough hours to keep a roof over their head. Many work, but can't meet the most basic expenses. The rise of the homeless children in our school system is increasing each year, as the Wall Street types have rebounded and doing better the middle class still shrinks and the poor get more poor. I read of new scams on the horizon from the likes of Blackstone, poised to toss more people out into the street.

Yes, this Principle offers hope, everyone needs hope, but hope can only go so far, we need serious debate and changes in this Country, and when we don't even have that during the election debates when will we be having it?

Evelyn Z (300)
Thursday December 5, 2013, 5:08 pm
Thanks Tonya, & Carole for posting this Good News Article for you!!

Sheryl G (360)
Thursday December 5, 2013, 5:20 pm
If anyone would like to read a very informative article that Brian placed on concerning Blackstone and how it will impact upon people's lives please go to the link below.
How Wall Street Has Turned Into a Quick Get Rich Scheme AGAIN

Kathy Chadwell (354)
Friday December 6, 2013, 2:03 am
This is great news. With all the peer pressure along with growing pains. Kids endure enough. They should NOT have to worry about their safety too.

Michael C (217)
Friday December 6, 2013, 3:19 am
Noted...This School is not very far from where I live, It's in one of Philadelphia's poorest crime ridden areas, and I live right across the river from Philadelphia in New Jersey...I've been follwing this on the local news and in articles in the Newspaper, I also saw a report about this on ABC Evening news with Diane Sawyer...They are doing a great job over there, I'm hoping for this to work, those kids need a break...Thanks Carole!!!

Giana Peranio-paz (398)
Friday December 6, 2013, 5:25 am
Thanks Carole, good news for a change. Like I always say, together we can move mountains.

. (0)
Friday December 6, 2013, 6:51 am
Good luck to them. Thanks for sharing, Carole.

Roger G (154)
Friday December 6, 2013, 9:08 am
noted, thanks

Gene J (290)
Friday December 6, 2013, 11:33 am
I loved the story but I have to admit it truly riles me inside. This is ONE school, of countless numbers with the same problems. It is bordering on a criminal neglect to allow public education, mandatory public education, come to this. This school has made remarkable strides but not every school and certainly not every child is going to be rescued by a celebrity or an all star principal with principles. This is the responsibility of the entire country from the President though Congress, through Governors, state legislatures and local school boards. Those children ARE the future. That only one parent showed up for a conference out of 70 students borders on criminal neglect, child abuse in a way. How can a child be expected to have hope when his or her parents haven't the will to participate in his or her education? That is inexcusable and that fault cannot be laid on the schools or the government, that is on parents who don't care enough about their children to CARE about their children. I just can't see this as good news. One person surviving a fire that 70 million others die in, is NOT good news. It should not have to take media involvement to fix this, though by highlighting the issues they do help, but awareness has to be raised everywhere or things, like children, will fall right back into the abyss. This country has such screwed up priorities, I don't know if we can be salvaged. If we can, the ones who will do it, are those children who have to survive long enough to bring the changes they know are needed because the adults in their lives, including all of us who sit on our hands, are failing miserably at doing our part.

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Friday December 6, 2013, 11:45 am

Well-stated, Gene.

Yes, whenever I see so many constant pleas for feeding the hungry, supporting homeless vets, donating to education, etc., my first flash response is anger.

WHY are ordinary people -- just struggling to support their own families -- being asked to dip (again) into their worn pockets . . . while their government squanders hundreds of billions of dollars on aggressive wars in countries not threatening us, AND "our" Congress is busily chipping away at the little government assistance given to our most unfortunate?

That said, however, this story points out, in my opinion, that obstacles can only be overcome if those involved still stand, and refuse to accept defeat.


Carole Sarcinello (338)
Friday December 6, 2013, 1:05 pm

With the passing of Nelson Mandela, I am reminded of these words of strength:

Still I Rise
by Maya Angelou

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I'll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries?

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don't you take it awful hard
'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines
Diggin' in my own backyard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I'll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I've got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history's shame
I rise
Up from a past that's rooted in pain
I rise
I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

Birgit W (160)
Friday December 6, 2013, 1:15 pm
Way to go! I am wishing them well.

Arielle S (313)
Friday December 6, 2013, 1:30 pm
Great poem, Carole - These are tough times but we all need to look the enemy in the eye and refuse to be afraid.
When the defense budget gets as much money as can be taken and yet we have people going to bed hungry and children not getting the proper education, we need to rise. We need to let them know we are not going to be intimidated, we are not going to run away and hide, we are not going to go away. We are going to rise.

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Friday December 6, 2013, 1:34 pm

Bless your heart, Arielle!


Carole Sarcinello (338)
Friday December 6, 2013, 1:40 pm

"These are tough times but we all need to look the enemy in the eye and refuse to be afraid."

It's beyond shameful that so many consider their own government to be "the enemy."


Thomas P (280)
Friday December 6, 2013, 3:27 pm
Nice story Carole...thank you!

Debra G (0)
Friday December 6, 2013, 9:52 pm
That's one of about 26,000 public high schools in the US. Hey, Muricah, this is your future. Why does it take a news story to ensure the kids finally get ...books?!

Ondine J (134)
Friday December 6, 2013, 10:15 pm
Thank you for posting,

Kerrie G (116)
Friday December 6, 2013, 11:49 pm
Noted, thanks.

Vivien Green (153)
Saturday December 7, 2013, 3:31 am
Thank you Tonya for sourcing the story and Carole for posting it.
It will also be a great inspiration for the students to see that " Where there is a will there is a way"
Education is the key to freedom.

Theodore Shayne (56)
Saturday December 7, 2013, 8:46 am
Noted & posted

. (0)
Saturday December 7, 2013, 11:16 am
A wonderful piece of inspiration.

Gloria picchetti (304)
Sunday December 8, 2013, 6:01 am
I love the recording studio!

Jonathan H (0)
Monday December 9, 2013, 4:57 am

Winn A (179)
Monday December 9, 2013, 7:33 am
I'm glad for this school and it's students but what about all the others that need our help. What will happen to them . . . . ..

Susanne R (235)
Monday December 9, 2013, 7:37 am
Wonderful story! Thank you to Tonya and Carole for posting it!

I read an article in yesterday's paper about another less noticed and/or publicized form of corporate welfare which, in the long run, affects funding for schools and other vital programs. The fast-food industry and companies such as Walmart are fully aware that they're not paying their employees a living wage even though they themselves are raking in substantial --in some cases even record-- profits. But instead of paying them more, they're actively advising them to apply for rent subsidies, food stamps and any other form of assistance they can get their hands on. So, in addition to their own tax breaks and every form of corporate welfare they can get their hands on, these wealthy corporations are not only encouraging but actively teaching their employees the art of 'how to make ends meet at the expense of the taxpayers.' Isn't that big-hearted of them? The more I learn, the sicker I get. I'm all for funding schools and government programs that provide assistance to the less fortunate, but let's not allow highly successful corporations to double-dip! They need to pay their fair share of taxes AND pay their employees a living wage. Let's face it: how much more wealth can the Walton family possibly need? According to Forbes Billionaire's List, the Waltons have a combined wealth of US$93 billion, yet they have a management strategy of advising their underpaid employees to apply for public assistance! Unbelievable...

Again, it's very uplifting to read a success story but, as pointed out by Gene and other commenters, something is terribly wrong with this country. Education should be a priority of government, parents, business and everyone who wants to see this country pull itself up from the bottom of the list of countries with the best educated students! This is yet another example that the biggest cause of failure in this country is GREED.

Phyllis P (237)
Thursday December 12, 2013, 6:56 pm
Ok...crying over here. God bless them and all the other schools and students like them.

Carmen S (611)
Friday December 13, 2013, 3:11 pm
Thanks Caorle, stories like this provide hope.

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Friday December 13, 2013, 3:22 pm

And thank YOU, Carmen. While we may not be able to change the entire world today . . . we must still acknowledge the hope and strength we see at this moment.


Past Member (0)
Sunday January 5, 2014, 9:19 pm
Thanks, everybody, for your appreciation of this story and thoughtful comments. I agree with them all. If I could I would have given multiple green stars. (I actually tried. hehehehehe) Thank you, Just C., for posting this and letting me know it landed on the Care2 News Front Page. Yeah! Thanks to everyone who helped spread this wonderful news about this school.

If you haven't already, come check out our webpage at I've been working hard on it and would love your feedback. :)
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