The Inquirer will host a public forum Monday evening as a follow-up to the newspaper's investigative series "Assault on Learning," which was published in the spring.
"We don't want this series to be the last word on this incredibly important issue," said Stan Wischnowski, the newspaper's editor.
The seven-part Inquirer series, published March 27 to April 3, depicted a school system staggered by thousands of assaults and other violent crimes, some even committed by kindergartners. Inquirer reporters spent a year on the project, interviewing more than 300 teachers, administrators, students and their families, district officials, police officers, court officials, and school-violence experts. They also examined thousands of police and court records, as well as internal district documents.
To augment this reporting, The Inquirer created a database that analyzed more than 30,000 serious incidents recorded by the district over five years. The database allowed readers to search schools by name, zip code, or school type.
"The idea behind the forum is to get all of the key stakeholders to the table to create an open and honest dialogue toward finding a solution," Wischnowski said. "Everyone is now aware of the severity of the problem and the degree of urgency involved."
The forum moderator will be Charles A. Williams 3d, director of the Center for Prevention of School-Aged Violence at Drexel University.
"I'm going to try to get people to leave their scripts at home," Williams said.
Mayor Nutter will offer opening remarks. Scheduled panelists include Tomás Hanna, associate superintendent with the School District of Philadelphia; Steve Korr, a trainer with the International Institute for Restorative Practices; and Jack Stollsteimer, former state safe-schools advocate.
Also set to participate are Susan Snyder, a reporter who worked on the series, and Wanda Walker, who enrolled her daughter in an online charter school because of violence in city schools.
People who want to attend the forum, in the lobby of the Inquirer-Daily News Building at 400 N. Broad St. starting at 6 p.m., may RSVP by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 215-854-5640.
Questions also may be submitted via Twitter by using the hash tag #PHLSV or through www.facebook.com/PhilaSchools during the two-hour event. The series and related features can be viewed online at www.philly.com/schoolviolence