BRADDOCK (KDKA) — Braddock Mayor John Fetterman is using Twitter to criticize the moves of the Woodland Hills School District.
First, he was upset over the district hiring a P.R. firm. Now, he’s angry that the district is eliminating funding toward crossing guards.
In recent months, Woodland Hills has been in the news several times:
- A school resource officer was on video dragging a student into an office before the students tooth was reportedly punched out.
- In another video, the officer puts another teen in a headlock and then appears to slam him to the floor.
- There was an audio tape of the principal apparently threatening a student: “I don’t care if you are [expletive] 14-years-old or not. I will punch you in the face.”
- And then, just this week, video of a behavioral specialist seemingly lifting a student by the neck and dragging him.
The district has now hired a public relations company called MASSolutions at $350 an hour.
“Some people have said, ‘Oh, they’re just hiring P.R., so they can sweep all these issues under the rug,'” said School Board President Tara Reis. “There’s no sweeping under the rug. Nothing can be swept under the rug. Everything is out there, and we know we have issues that we really have to deal with.”
But Mayor Fetterman took to Twitter with some P.R. tips of his own:
“Tip #1: School personnel should avoid telling students I’m gonna knock your [expletive] teeth down your throat.”
Another tip encouraged the district to “apologize, reach out to the legions of concerned parents.”
But the latest is a tweet about the district informing Braddock that it would no longer help pay for crossing guards in any communities.
“That’s a huge deal,” said Mayor Fetterman.
He believes having no crossing guards would put kids in danger.
“You have all this enormous, dangerous big truck traffic. I mean would you want a 7-year-old walking by him or herself?” said Mayor Fetterman.
The board president says their business manager has recommended for years eliminating crossing guard funding.
“We subsequently reached out to the police chiefs in all the boroughs that are in Woodland Hills to get their input, tell them what we’re planning,” said Reis. “We have heard from those police chiefs that they’re okay with it.”
But Mayor Fetterman says the short letter was a surprise to him: “To just summarily say, ‘We’re done with that,’ is bizarre,” said Mayor Fetterman. “Particularly, given in light of hiring a P.R. person for $350 an hour.”
By the way, the school board president says they’ve been thinking about hiring a P.R. firm for years to try to get attention for the good things that happen in the district.