School District of Philadelphia expands mentoring program amid surging gun violence

Less than 24 hours after a triple shooting left a 6-year-old boy critically wounded, the School District of Philadelphia announced they are expanding their mentoring program.

Mabel Whitaker, of Southwest Philadelphia, is still shaken hours after she witnessed the aftermath. 

"There’s no value for life. Living life how can you just take somebody’s life?" she said.

The shooting happened around 7:15 p.m. Wednesday in the area of 53rd Street and Baltimore Avenue.

A traumatizing scene unfolding the same day as the city unveiled a new anti-violence strategy, which includes more police officers in high crime areas and greater youth outreach. 

Philly Schools Superintendent Dr. William Hite recognizes that outreach is important and announced the expansion of the district's mentoring program for young Black males in schools. 

"We don't set out to try to solve a broader community-based problem but we understand and see our role in making sure that students and families are supported if they're experiencing trauma," Hite said.

At a hearing on gun violence, city council member Helen Gym addressed the gut-wrenching fact that more than 750 school-age children have become the victims of gun violence In Philadelphia since January 1, 2020. 

"It is unacceptable, it is horrifying, and it is deeply, deeply harmful to our city," Gym said.


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Man fatally shot in Southwest Philadelphia, police say



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