Women With Mace, Bats Attack School Bus in Bizarre Northeast Philly Road Rage Incident

[UPDATE] NBC10 reports that police have questioned two women they’re calling persons of interest in Thursday’s bizarre attack. The women showed up to claim the vehicle police say was used in the incident.

The SUV, despite being a Suburban — not a Tahoe as first reported by police — is the one used in Thursday afternoon’s “bizarre” attack, according to police

Two women showed up at the impound lot Friday afternoon to claim the SUV. Police consider the women persons of interest and took them into custody for questioning.

[ORIGINAL] A student was injured on Thursday when police say a group of women attacked a bus with baseball bats and mace on Roosevelt Boulevard in Northeast Philadelphia.

The incident happened at 3 p.m. near the Boulevard and Levick Street. Teenagers, 14 and 15 years old, were yelling at an SUV driving next to it on the Boulevard. The women sped up, pulled in front of the bus and blocked its path. Two women then got out of the bus and began hitting it with baseball bats. They also sprayed mace on the front of the bus.

Before leaving in their SUV and fleeing down Horrocks Street, cops say, the women broke the window behind the bus driver. A student hurt his wrists in the attack, but he is expected to be okay.

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23 Best Signs From the Philadelphia Teachers’ Protest

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Thousands of teachers jammed Broad Street before a meeting of the School Reform Commission late Thursday afternoon, protesting the SRC’s unilateral cancellation of teachers’ contracts last week.

Speakers at the protest spent a few hours railing against the SRC, Bill Green, Gov. Tom Corbett, and SRC member Sylvia Simms — who students said told them they “belong in jail” at a movie screening Simms hosted Wednesday night. There were many signs supporting Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Wolf, Gov. Corbett’s opponent in next month’s election.

The speakers also had strong words for the counter-protesters hired by the Commonwealth Foundation, who were also demonstrating near the front of the School District building.

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Students: School Reform Commission Member Told Us ‘You Belong in Jail’

Philadelphia School Reform Commission member Sylvia Simms lashed out at student protesters at a movie screening last night. As seen in the above video posted to YouTube by Waleed Shahid, students clapped and interrupted the screening with chants of “Philly is a union town” and “The SRC has got to go.”

The students — part of Philly Students Union, a student-led group advocating for better school conditions — disrupted a film screening hosted by Simms. Those students say Simms told them “y’all probably go to failing schools.” Al Dia reports she also said, “You belong in jail.”

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Commonwealth Foundation to Demonstrate at Schools Protest

Update: Challenging the characterization of the event as a “counter-protest,” the Commonwealth Foundation for Public Policy Alternatives confirmed it has hired a team to appear at the Philadelphia Federation for Teachers’ protest outside School District headquarters on Thursday.

The Commonwealth Foundation, a free-market think tank in the state, says its PFTFails.com website will be up Thursday morning. Spokeswoman Cindy Hamill wrote the site would be “informing people about how Jerry Jordan and the PFT leadership are standing in the way of tens of millions of dollars going back into Philadelphia classrooms.” The Commonwealth Foundation also registered PFTFails.org and PFTFails.net earlier this week.

“Their selfish agenda fails children, fails teachers, and fails the poor,” Hamill continued. “They fail us when they put personal political scores ahead of what’s best for children, teachers and the poor.” She said the workers have not been hired to “counter-protest” but to pass out information and hold banners. “We will be there to inform, not to counter protest,” Hamill said.

ORIGINAL: A group calling itself “PFT Fails” has hired a marketing team to hire counter-protesters for Thursday’s Philadelphia Federation of Teachers protest, Philly blog The Declaration reported last night.

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Neshaminy School Board Member Wanted Newspaper Editors Prosecuted

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We’ve told you before about the administrators at Neshaminy High School in Bucks County. Last year, student editors at The Playwickian banned the word “Redskins” from the newspaper. That’s the school’s nickname, and previous editors of the awesomely-named paper had banned it with little controversy.

Not this time. The school board has consistently attempted to force the newspaper to print the nickname, eventually settling on forcing the paper to print the word in op-eds. The district even suspended a faculty member who advised the paper, and suspended the paper’s editor from her gig for a month.

At least one board member wanted more. According to an email posted by VICE Sports this week, board member Stephen Pirritano wanted the student editors arrested and prosecuted.

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2 More Philadelphia School Principals Charged with Changing Test Answers

Two former Philadelphia school principals have been charged with changing students’ answers on standardized tests in order to boost scores. District Attorney Kathleen Kane announced the arrests of Barbara McCreery, 61, of Philadelphia, and Arthur “Larry” Melton, 70, of Cherry Hill Thursday afternoon.

McCreery, the former principal at Communications Technology High School, is accused of changing answers on Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) tests in 2010. Melton, the former principal at Edward W. Bok Technical High School, is charged with changing answers of a group that was “on the cusp.”

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Rich People Are Stupider Than You and Me

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Rich people, F. Scott Fitzgerald famously said, are different from you and me, and there was a doozy of an article in the New York Times last Thursday that proved it. The story was about rich people who send their kids away to ritzy boarding schools and then buy or rent houses near those boarding schools so they can stay close to their kids.

Let me repeat: These rich people send their kids away to boarding schools and then buy or rent houses near those schools so they can stay close to their kids. This shows precisely how rich people are different from you and me: They’re batshit insane.

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Parents Sue Over Philadelphia School Conditions

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Seven Philadelphia parents and the Parents United for Public Education group are suing over the conditions of Philadelphia’s public schools. The petitioners are represented by the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia.

In the suit, to be filed against acting Pennsylvania education secretary Carolyn Dumaresq, the parents say the state has failed in its constitutional mandate to “receive and investigate allegations of curriculum deficiencies.” Parents United says it delivered 825 complaints about school conditions to Dumaresq that were not followed up on.

Per the lawsuit, the allegations included “overcrowded classrooms, the lack of classes such as art, music, foreign language and physical education, cancelled programs for the mentally gifted, the absence of facilities such as libraries or school materials such as textbooks that resulted in loss of instruction for students, shortages of staff … and unsafe or unsanitary conditions that interfered with students’ ability to respond to the curriculum.”

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