Tuesday, September 25, 2018


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Quakertown Student Activists Recognized by Administration
Written by Jennifer Butler, Correspondent

            Thursday night, the Quakertown School Board opened their monthly work session with a moment of silence to remember the seventeen victims of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida on Valentine's Day.

            During the public comment period, QCHS junior and Girl Scout ambassador Skylar Huntley addressed the board, asking for the opportunity to focus her gold project on the safety and security of Quakertown students, in response to the tragedy in Florida.

            Huntley reported that 25 students met with School Resource Officer Robert Lee and faculty to discuss their concerns.

             "Utilizing my project, I would like to be the forefront to realistic and finically feasible change that may be needed within the district," Huntley said.

            Harner agreed to serve as Huntley's advisor for the project. Harner also advised the board that he supports students who plan to participate in any walkouts or student marches, addressing the issue in his most recent blog post, located on the district website.

            To ensure that students' plans address any possible safety concerns, Harner has asked student leaders to work closely with school personnel.

            "This is an extraordinary educational opportunity for students to learn about their First Amendment rights and see the importance of being involved in our democracy," Harner wrote in his blog.

            Eighth grade student Angelina Becker received a service award from the organization Feed My Starving Children during Thursday night's meeting also. Kevin McPoyle, organizer of the Central Bucks MobilePack, presented the award, commending Becker for recruiting over 100 fellow students to assemble nutrient-dense meal packs that are sent to impoverished areas worldwide.

            "We experienced the remarkable joy of being of service to others," Becker said of the effort.

            Harner congratulated Becker and asked that the program be duplicated next year at the high school.

            In other business Thursday night, Harner announced that almost all staff assessments have been completed by the Pearl S Buck Foundation. The district contracted with the organization as well as The Peace Center to evaluate intercultural competencies and develop inclusivity programming.

            The assessment and programming were developed in response to an incident in October in which several students from Strayer Middle School shouted racial slurs at cheerleaders from Cheltenham during a football game.

            The Peace Center has already delivered five sessions entitled "Celebrating Me, Celebrating You" to all fourth graders.

            Also during the public comment period, Vic Bartholomew of Milford Township spoke out against the proposed tax increase for the 2018-2019 school year, asking the board to instead consider a one-year ten percent pay decrease for school administration and staff.

            "It is time for someone other than the tax payer to sacrifice for this district," Bartholomew said.





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