Sandusky Cries Conspiracy With Jailhouse Statement

Plus: SEPTA's getting ready for smart cards, a student is found dead in her Bucks County dorm, the School District weighs in on the Romney T-shirt fiasco, and more of what Philly is buzzing about today.

Sandusky Reads Jailhouse Statement. The night before his sentencing, Jerry Sandusky read a statement from prison alleging that the entire ordeal is a conspiracy and that he never molested or raped anyone.

“They can take away my life. They can make me out as a monster. They can treat me as a monster, but they can’t take away my heart,” Sandusky said, his voice measured and assertive. “In my heart, I know I did not do these alleged disgusting acts.” [Inquirer]

Penn State’s Com Radio got the audio and played it on Monday night.

SEPTA Smart Card Update. Workers are set to start measuring and testing subway stops around the city in preparation for SEPTA’s big transition to a smart card fare system. Don’t get too excited, though, because the system isn’t scheduled to go live until next year and won’t be ready for the Regional Rail until 2014. [Inquirer]

Student Found Dead in Bucks County. A 21-year-old girl was found dead in her dorm at Bucks County College. Police don’t suspect any foul play and are awaiting autopsy results. [NBC Philadelphia]

City Council Staffer Brouhaha. City Council staffer Latrice Bryant—the woman that called a Fox 29 reporter a member of the KKK—posted on Facebook that she was involved in a scuffle at a Germantown nightclub and that she punched the other woman in the face, “booka … booka … booka.” [Daily News]

Poll Shows Romney Leads. A new Pew poll indicates that Mitt Romney holds a four-point lead over President Obama among likely voters. The gap is attributed to Romney’s performance in the first presidential debate. [USA Today]

School District Comments on T-Shirt Fiasco. As the 16-year-old girl that was ridiculed by her teacher for wearing a Mitt Romney T-shirt to school gets ready to return to class, the Philadelphia School District has finally issued a formal statement on the matter. Director of Communications Fernando Gallard said:

The Carroll High School community – students, teachers, administrators, parents and neighbors – recently has been pulled into an argument that drove a wedge between families, friends and classmates. This has been disruptive and hurtful for a school whose success is drawn from its diverse and close-knit student body. And it has been particularly distressing to the Pawlucy family, whose daughter was targeted for simply expressing herself by wearing a t-shirt.

Over the next couple of weeks, I will join Mayor Michael Nutter and Philadelphia Federation of Teachers president Jerry Jordan in working directly with the Carroll High School community to assist them in moving away from a divisive and damaging discourse towards a conversation that brings together diverse beliefs, inspires understanding, and heals.

Our efforts will not take away from the hard lesson learned when an educator acts thoughtlessly. We all concur that there is no room for that type of behavior from adults, especially in a classroom.

We will also support and stand by Samantha Pawlucy, Lynette Gaymon and all of the children and adults who have become targets of hatred and venom by individuals who demand that a wrong be righted with another wrong. There is no room in our community for that type of behavior and we will not let it take root in our schools.

Going forward, both as a school community and a City, we will celebrate, embrace and respect our differences and learn and grow from this teachable moment.