This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.
by Aaron Moselle
Vera Primus’ eyes said it all. Her words added an exclamation point.
"I’m just floored," said a teary Primus, Germantown High School’s alumni association president on Thursday night after learning that her alma mater would close at school-year’s end. "They don’t care nothing about these kids."
Citing declining enrollment and low academic performance, the School District of Philadelphia announced in mid-December that it wanted to close the nearly century-old institution as part of its Facilities Master Plan, an effort aimed, in part, at addressing an ongoing budget crisis.
At the time, 37 schools were on the chopping block. After revisions to the plan by the District, the city’s School Reform Commission voted on 27 closures Thursday, ultimately saving four schools.
After an excruciating day of protests and pleas for mercy, the SRC voted to close 23 city schools and merge or relocate five others.
Four schools — T.M. Peirce and Bayard Taylor elementary schools, Roosevelt Middle, and Paul Robeson High — were spared. GHS was not. The commission voted 4-1 to close it.