Penn State Students Rally Against Facebook Frat

AP-penn-st-frat-protest-marq

Penn State students braved the snow Friday to rally in support of the women who were allegedly pictured nude and unconscious on a fraternity’s invitation-only websites.

Police are investigating allegations by a ex-member of Kappa Delta Rho that the frat ran two Facebook pages where members shared “photos of unsuspecting victims, drug sales and hazing.” A police warrant said some images were “of nude females that appeared to be passed out.”

Protesters carried signs that read, “Rape Culture Lives Here,” “Support the Victims” and “This Isn’t Satire” (an apparent reference to a frat member who told Philadelphia magazine that a Kappa Delta Rho Facebook page was satirical). Read more »

PSU President: We Might Need to Reevaluate Frat System

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Eric Barron | Photo Credit: Michelle Bixby/PSU

In the wake of allegations that Penn State’s Kappa Delta Rho chapter posted photos of nude, unconscious women online, university president Eric Barron says the entire fraternity system may need to be reexamined.

“We must ask if a reevaluation of the fraternity system is required,” he said. “Some members of the university senior leadership believe it is, and we are considering our options.”

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Member of Penn State’s Kappa Delta Rho Defends Fraternity

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When news broke this week that a Penn State fraternity had allegedly run two private Facebook pages where members posted photographs of nude, unconscious women, hazing and other illicit deeds, we, like everyone else, wondered: How could anyone do this? Who could justify such behavior?

An ex-fraternity member first told authorities about the Facebook pages, which were dubbed “Covert Business Transactions” and “2.o,” according to a police warrant. They allegedly featured photos of “nude females that appeared to be passed out” as well as “marijuana and edibles, concentrates, ADD medication, and some cocaine.” Police said fraternity members could face charges of invasion of privacy and harassment.

We found a member of Kappa Delta Rho who was willing to talk anonymously about what happened and how fraternity members are reacting to news coverage of the scandal. His remarks offer a glimpse into the mindset at Kappa Delta Rho.

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Pew Poll: Philadelphians Are Split on Charter Schools

School District of Philadelphia

Philadelphians say education is the top issue facing the next mayor, according to a Pew Charitable Trusts poll released Monday. But if you’re looking to find out if they side more with traditional public schools or charters, the survey of more than 1,600 residents doesn’t show a clear winner. In fact, the poll indicates that Philadelphians have a rather nuanced view of the city’s schools.

Here are the major findings of the Pew poll, which was conducted by phone from Jan. 28 to Feb. 19 of this year, and what they could mean for the mayor’s race:

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The Brief: Why the Philly Teachers Union’s Endorsement Matters

On the way where? Photo Credit: City Council Flickr page.

Jim Kenney | Photo Credit: City Council Flickr page

The Philadelphia Federation of Teachers is, as expected, endorsing former City Councilman Jim Kenney for mayor. PFT president Jerry Jordan will make it official at a press conference Monday afternoon at Germantown’s John B. Kelly Elementary School.

“PFT members voted overwhelmingly for Jim Kenney in our citywide referendum,” said Jordan in a statement. “His years of consistent support for traditional public schools and educators, and his vision for a better Philadelphia for every child make him the clear choice to be the next mayor of Philadelphia.”

What is the PFT’s endorsement worth? A few thoughts:

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PA’s Wealthy School Districts Get Way More Local Cash Than Poor Ones

School District of Philadelphia

School districts across Pennsylvania have felt the impact of state budget cuts and the expiration of federal stimulus dollars over the past few years.

But the money woes of the high-poverty Philadelphia School District have been so extreme that they’ve garnered national attention: Some city schools lack such basics as full-time guidance counselors and nurses.

A new analysis shows that, despite the fact that low-income students come to class with greater needs than their better-off peers, Pennsylvania and its municipalities actually spend less per pupil in the poorest districts than in the richest ones. Way less, actually. According to the Washington Post, “In Pennsylvania, per-pupil spending in the poorest school districts is 33 percent lower than per-pupil spending in the wealthiest school districts.”

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School Funding Suit Against State Advances Despite Promises From Wolf

It’s time for Pennsylvania’s courts to force the state legislature to properly fund state schools, attorneys representing a coalition of money-hungry school districts argued today before the Commonwealth Court at Harrisburg.

“We argued today in court the schoolchildren of Pennsylvania have an enforceable right to be heard,” said Maura McInerney, an attorney for the Education Law Center, which helped bring the case. She spoke during a conference call after the court appearance. “The court,” she said, “has a vital role to play in enforcing the state constitution.” Read more »

5 Things Michael Nutter Wants You to Know About His Property Tax Hike

Matt Rourke | AP

Matt Rourke | AP

Mayor Michael Nutter proposed a budget Thursday that would total $3.95 billion, expand the use of police body cameras, most likely eliminate the need for a tuition hike next year at the Community College of Philadelphia, and increase spending on the city’s long-underfunded Licenses & Inspections department.

But all eyes went to only one part of his plan: a 9.3 percent increase in property taxes. Nutter wants to use that to give $105 million to the city’s cash-strapped schools.

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Mayoral Candidate Williams Unveils a Plan to Fund Philly Schools

State Sen. Anthony Williams | Photo Credit: Holly Otterbein

State Sen. Anthony Williams | Photo Credit: Holly Otterbein

When state Sen. Anthony Williams released his first policy paper on education last month, we didn’t mince words: We called it “half-baked.” There wasn’t a word in the mayoral candidate’s proposal about how much money the city should provide to the local school district.

On Wednesday, Williams unveiled a more detailed budget plan at his campaign headquarters in Center City.

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