Philadelphia Anti-Bullying Charter School In Exploratory Stages

Via Shutterstock

Via Shutterstock

Local educators and LGBTQ advocates are starting the process to establish a new charter school in the city with a fundamental goal: to prevent bullying.

Members of Q Spot Philly and the Education Justice Collation are in the exploratory phases of forming The James Baldwin Charter High School, which would be an educational institution dedicated to not only a staunch anti-bullying campaign but also an overall sense of equality and inclusion. Although the school’s model will be especially friendly for LGBTQ students, any student would be allowed to enroll.

“The goal is for this school to be safe for all students, including LGBTQ and marginalized youth,” said Quincy Riley-Greene, one of the founding members of the Board of Trustees for the charter. “The mission of the school is to provide a bully free learning environment for all students. The curriculum will also focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics.”

This Saturday, members of the community are invited to a free charter planning meeting at 3535 Market Street from 4 to 8 pm. Organizers emphasize that this is “a community event, it is open to the public, [and] all ages are welcome. We would like to hear your feedback on how to design a Charter High School that is safe and welcoming for all students.”

It takes an extensive amount of work (and time) to establish a charter school, and the process is deliberate and lengthy, a fact that Riley-Greene is fully aware of.

“We will submit a full application on November 15. There is no guarantee of approval for any application. Last year 40 charter applications were submitted and ultimately only 5 were approved,” he said. “This will be our first attempt. Once it is reviewed, we will receive feedback that will give us the information needed to strengthen our application for resubmission next year.”