My name is Tamir Harper, class of 2018 graduate of the School District of Philadelphia, former city Youth Commissioner and current executive director UrbEd Inc., an organization led by those who are and have been most affected by the issues facing urban public schools specifically in the city of Philadelphia.
Today, I am overjoyed that Philadelphia City Council has moved towards pushing for a curriculum on conflict resolution. During the uprisings against police brutality in the summer months, UrbEd called on the district to reimagine school safety & health. We believe if the School District of Philadelphia implements a conflict resolution curriculum we will see the following things changes:
- Decreased violence in schools and on the streets
- Decreased required spending for School Resource Officers
- The increased presence of school counselors that are trained in violence reduction and conflict resolution
I want to make something very clear. The School District of Philadelphia has lost no students to COVID-19 but has lost many to violence in the city of Philadelphia. So if we truly believe that the youth are our future we must allow them to reach that future. If we truly want to have safer streets. If we truly want to see our homicide rate decrease we must implement a conflict resolution curriculum.
As a future educator, I hope that all my students in the future have conflict resolution training during their k-12 experience. This is not something we can be lackadaisical in executing. We must implement a conflict resolution curriculum and UrbEd is ready to do whatever is necessary to do so.
Tamir D. Harper,