A Teacher’s Story

Veteran Philadelphia teacher Frank Burd tells his own story about the violence that plagues Philly’s schools, the incredible support he received from the community, and his ongoing fight to recover

It’s been over a year now since the injury. On February 23rd, 2008, at 11:10 a.m., I was with my friend Elan. “How do you feel about it?” he asked me.

“It’s crazy,” I responded. “One year ago from this moment, I was just a normal high-school teacher, struggling like thousands of others to do his job in the Philadelphia high schools, and then … ” Elan looked at me, waiting for me to go on. “And then, my life was to change beyond my wildest thoughts. And then, my life stopped. And then, I awoke in the hospital.”

I wasn’t crying about it. Talking about the injury doesn’t make me cry or feel afraid. But there are so many other things connected to the events of that day and afterwards that do.