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Address violence, schools

By Oliver Joseph

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I am a senior in the School District of Philadelphia. I am writing to the Northeast Times to suggest that Rep. Anthony Bellmon continue his extensive work with at-risk youth, hosting community clean-ups around the district and advocating to tackle urban environmental challenges. This is important because if people don’t have designated places to throw away their trash they are more inclined to litter. Having lived in Oxford Circle for most of my life, it is important to me that it is safe. My grandmother is known to go out for walks by herself but as of late my parents and I are wary of letting her continue because of the increased violence and concern for her safety. With this being the case, I believe that Bellmon should sponsor HR 44, a resolution recognizing gun violence in Pennsylvania as a public health crisis. This will also lead to more research on firearms safety or gun violence prevention. I am currently taking a dual enrollment Public Health class at Community College of Philadelphia and I have learned that this allocation of funds is critical to preventing and understanding gun violence in our city.

I appreciate that Bellmon believes that the commonwealth should be first in the states when it comes to education, workforce development and job training. I think not only what students are learning but where they are studying is important. Most importantly, however, being sure students are prepared to enter the workforce with more than book smarts is just as significant. Having skills like being able to write a check, open a bank account or handle money, in general, is important. This is why I believe that Bellmon should sponsor HR154, which is a resolution to improve the financial literacy of secondary school students. It is important that people learn these important skills at a young age before they finish school and establish themselves in the world.

I admire that Bellmon wants to improve schools and make them safer for both students and staff. This means making sure that their environments are safe inside and out, and are free of potential dangers like asbestos and radon. At the beginning of my junior school year, many faculty members went on strike against the lack of safety inspections in the school, the main concern being asbestos. With this being said, I believe that Bellmon should sponsor HB 790. This is a bill that requires public schools to complete radon reports and testing. Having this be a standard would mean that schools are more accountable for the safety of the people in their buildings. This should always be the first concern of schools in the first place. Thank you for taking the time to read this. ••

Oliver Joseph attends Masterman.

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