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No, you may not go to the nurse | Morning Newsletter

And, what’s going on with Ben Simmons

It looks as if Ben Simmons flipped to a new page in the drama that is his desire to be traded. The Sixers star was kicked out of practice yesterday and suspended for today’s season opener.

We’ve got what you need in today’s newsletter and even more in the all-new Inquirer Sports Daily, so let’s get into a more unnerving story of the nurse shortage in Philly public schools.

More than a dozen of the district’s 220 schools lack a full-time nurse. Some of those schools share nurses, receiving care one or two days a week. Some aren’t covered at all. And consider what this means for students with medical issues who rely on school nurses.

Thanks for starting your day with me and The Inquirer.

— Kerith Gabriel (@sprtswtr |

For Agyili Mitchell, sending her 5-year-old daughter Aaila to school is nerve-wracking. Aaila, 5, loves school, but the kindergartner has sickle cell anemia, asthma, and allergies that can send her into anaphylactic shock — and her school only has a nurse one day a week.

Beset by a pandemic and a national nursing shortage, the district has roughly 18 nurse vacancies and nine nurses on long-term leave. The nurses left are essentially performing two jobs — their regular duties plus the public health work required while COVID-19 rages.

“I need for somebody to know how to care for my daughter if she ever goes into crisis,” Mitchell says.

Our education reporter Kristen A. Graham has this story.

After Ben Simmons was asked to leave practice for not participating in a team drill and subsequently suspended by the Sixers, coach Doc Rivers said, “every day, every single moment, I’m going to give Ben a chance to rejoin the team.”

This led our columnist Marcus Hayes to call BS, writing that the Sixers need to cut their losses.

It’s a real mess.

What you should know

  1. A former City Council staffer testified that labor leader John “Johnny Doc” Dougherty struck a secret side deal with Comcast during city negotiations, testifying in the federal trial’s ninth day.

  2. There’s new leadership at the Philadelphia Parking Authority. So what changes can you expect? Not many.

  3. We’ve been told to stay six feet apart as much as possible. But a Carnegie Mellon study suggests that when it comes to crowded spaces, that may do more harm than good.

  4. Fired Philadelphia cop Richard P. Nicoletti, who pepper-sprayed protesters last year on I-676 during the George Floyd protests, is heading back to court after a judge reversed a decision to drop all charges against him.

  5. Each year, monarch butterflies make a 2,500-mile trek from Canada to Mexico. It’s a long trip that finds the butterflies using Cape May as an annual rest stop.

Through your eyes | #OurPhilly

I’ll contend Philly’s architecture game is second to none. This submission from @jordanparenti serves as a backup. Show us the region from your perspective using the #OurPhilly hashtag.

That’s interesting

📺 Comcast is getting into the high-definition television game, teaming up with the Chinese manufacturer Hisense to create a line of smart TVs.

🛒 I’ve read odes to quite a few things, but this is the first I’ve read to a supermarket. People love Aldi.

🏛️ Did you know Philly has three centuries of American architecture on display?


“We have lost over 726,000 lives to COVID-19. [Colin] Powell’s death — as his life — will be illuminated. However, we cannot allow his name and legacy to be part of the political tug of war, nor the discourse between people who are in favor of or against getting vaccinated,” Dr. Ala Stanford of the Black Doctors COVID Consortium writes, condemning those using Powell’s death to fan vaccine disinformation.

  1. The Inquirer Editorial Board, which operates independently of the newsroom, says time’s up on the lack of transparency from the PSERS board.

  2. And state Treasurer Stacy Garrity writes that it’s time to enact a real retirement savings plan for Pa. workers.

What we’re ...

  1. Pondering: How these die-hard fans are feeling after Ben Simmons was kicked out of practice and suspended.

  2. Doing: Trying to get in a quick pump before work, as personal trainer Ashley Greenblatt writes that both men and women get huge benefits from weight training.

  3. Reading: This piece about how off the rails it is inside New York City prisons like Rikers Island.

Photo of the day

Take flight today, Philly. Until tomorrow...