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State awards $500,000 to Overbrook High School for safety improvements after a shooting that wounded

Robert Moran - Philly Inquirer

The announcement comes a month after four students were wounded in a shooting a block from the high school.

A month after four students were wounded in a shooting a block from Overbrook High School, a state representative announced Tuesday that $500,000 had been secured for safety improvements at the school.

State Rep. Morgan Cephas, whose district includes the high school, said money was awarded by the Pennsylvania Department of Education to “make security upgrades and improve safety and communications technology.”

“I’m glad that we were able to work together to identify and prioritize school safety needs for Overbook and that we were able to bring these much-needed funds down from the state to clear the way for improved safety in and around the school,” Cephas said.

A spokesperson for the School District of Philadelphia had no further information about the funding.

Classes had just been dismissed the day before Thanksgiving when the shooting took place. Four students were standing outside a block away from Overbrook when two 15-year-old girls and two 16-year-old boys were struck by bullets. None of the gunshot wounds were life-threatening.

In October, state lawmakers announced a $500,000 award — that time from the state Department of Community and Economic Development — for security enhancements at Roxborough High School after a shooting outside the school killed a 14-year-old boy and left four other teens injured.

As violence around schools has ramped up, city police and the district’s Office of School Safety have added additional patrols and programs. Overbrook was already part of the safe corridors program that stations city police near certain schools at arrival and dismissal time.

District officials said there was consideration of increasing patrols at other high schools.

“There is no one answer to the gun violence threatening the lives of our youth, but collaboration among stakeholders is one sure way to help get resources to the places they are needed the most,” Cephas said.

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