Chalkbeat, Resolve Philly, Penn GSE to host panel on Philadelphia gun violence, impact on students’ mental health

April 13, 2022

With gun violence in Philadelphia at historic levels, a significant portion of the mental anguish this inflicts on the community is felt among the city’s students and schools. Students, teachers, and administrators — already reeling from the ongoing disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic — have been beset by an old problem attacking with new ferocity.

On April 20 from 5 – 6pm, Chalkbeat Philadelphia and Resolve Philly will host “The Toll on Students: Philadelphia’s Gun Violence Epidemic & Mental Health,” a free-to-attend virtual panel sponsored by Penn GSE’s Office of School & Community Engagement (OSCE).

“The OSCE is honored to sponsor what we hope will be a candid discussion on how to approach the issue of gun violence comprehensively, as a community,” says Penn GSE OSCE Director Caroline Watts. “We want every student, teacher, and administrator to know they aren’t going through this alone — and we need to have a frank, open talk about how to better work together to provide effective and sustainable supports.”

The event will bring together experts, school leaders, and students from the Philadelphia community to discuss the impact of community trauma on students, how schools could spend critical resources, what measures make an immediate, measurable difference, and how educators could be better equipped to confront these difficult issues.

The panelists are:

  • Le'Yondo Dunn, principal of Mastery Simon Gratz High School
  • Lisa Christian, Anti-Violence Partnership of Philadelphia’s director of counseling services
  • Selina Carrera, educator at Philadelphia Juvenile Justice Services Center
  • Kevin Bethel, chief of safety for Philadelphia schools 
  • Erin Gil-Wilson, junior at Carver Engineering and Science High School and co-executive director of advocacy for UrbEd Advocates
  • Armando Orte, rising senior at Northeast High School and student representative on the Philadelphia school board

For more information or to register for the event, click here.

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