Schools Chief Ackerman Discloses New, Million-Dollar Security System at South Phila. H.S.
A startling admission today from Philadelphia schools superintendent Arlene Ackerman: the district spent $1 million to install security cameras at South Philadelphia High School in the wake of racial violence there.
Ackerman was testifying before City Council on the district’s $3-billion-plus budget when she was asked about changes at South Philly High in the aftermath of clashes between blacks and Asians there.
School Reform Commission chair Robert Archie whispered to her to talk about cameras:
(Ackerman:) “We’ve put into place…”
(Archie, whispering): “…one million dollars’ worth of cameras.”
(Ackerman, to Council): “…one million dollars’ worth of cameras. I was trying not to talk about that.”
But with that out in the open, Ackerman went on to explain that a one-million-dollar security system had been installed in South Philly High, with cameras in every classroom and hallway.
Ackerman said there’s no place that officials can’t now see in that school, except for the restrooms.
School district officials later contacted KYW Newsradio to clarify that about $700,000 had been spent on the project rather than the full $1 million that was budgeted for it.