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Old Mar 31, 2010, 07:24 AM   #1
mkrishnan
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School Cafeteria Doubles as Nightclub

I don't see what the big deal is... sometimes, after some hard dancing, you know, I'm hungry, and tater tots would really hit the spot.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/31/us/31school.html?hpw

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Books by day, beers by night — at least that is what school district officials in Philadelphia say was offered at a charter school there, where they say the school’s cafeteria was used weekends as a nightclub.

Fernando Gallard, a spokesman for the school district, said his office was investigating whether the school, the Harambee Institute of Science and Technology Charter School itself rented the cafeteria to the bar, known as Club Damani, or if the landlord did so. In the meantime, Mr. Gallard said, the city has asked the bar to cease operating or the school to move.

The school is home to roughly 500 students in kindergarten through eighth grade. When it opened in 1997, it was one of the first charter schools in the city. Now, there are 67 charter schools educating about 34,000 students, Mr. Gallard said.

Harambee officials did not respond to requests for comment. But they posted an open letter on the school’s Web site, saying reports about the school’s operating a bar, which first appeared over the weekend on a local television station, WPVI-TV, were “a biased depiction of the true success story that Harambee truly is.”

In the letter, school officials said Harambee excelled in building students’ self-worth, engaging parents and consistently producing students who exceed state standards in math and reading.

But the presence of the nightclub in the school building drew strong criticism.

“It is an outrage,” said State Senator Jeffrey E. Piccola, a Republican who heads the Education Committee and who has called for the school to close immediately and relocate its students.

Mr. Piccola said he planned to amend a charter school bill that he had already introduced to ban the consumption, purchase and sale of alcoholic beverages in a charter school.

“A bar should not be located anywhere near a school,” he said. “To think that a full bar is actually operating in a school is an outrageous affront to charter schools, young children, educators and taxpayers everywhere.”

City officials said Club Damani appeared to have a liquor license that expired in April 2008. The city controller, Alan Butkovitz, said the school was also being investigated for questionable spending.
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Old Mar 31, 2010, 07:26 AM   #2
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“It is an outrage,” said State Senator Jeffrey E. Piccola, a Republican who heads the Education Committee and who has called for the school to close immediately and relocate its students.
Couldn't help but chuckle at this. A school that houses a bar? CLOSE THE SCHOOL!
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Old Mar 31, 2010, 07:30 AM   #3
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Couldn't help but chuckle at this. A school that houses a bar? CLOSE THE SCHOOL!
Srsly! Who wants to be tripping on little kids at the club? If they let little kids in the club, what's next, are they going to start letting ugly people in, too?

But while we're doing investigative reporting here, how many stripper poles are there in this school cafeteria? Inquiring minds want to know.
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Old Mar 31, 2010, 07:33 AM   #4
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Oooh, tater tots!

I get a little tired of the whole "Won't somebody think of the children?!" mentality when no actual harm is coming to them. It's a property, not a sacred place. So long as each can operate individually without interference spilling over, why all the fuss? That's just making good use of property, that is! It's like recycling!
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Old Mar 31, 2010, 07:35 AM   #5
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That's just making good use of property, that is! It's like recycling!
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Jeffrey E. Piccola, a Republican...
He's against that, too.
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Old Mar 31, 2010, 07:36 AM   #6
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And they only play Kidz Bop records.
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Old Mar 31, 2010, 07:40 AM   #7
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Couldn't help but chuckle at this. A school that houses a bar? CLOSE THE SCHOOL!
Why close the school? Really.
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Old Mar 31, 2010, 08:07 AM   #8
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Too funny! The rhetoric
The school officials are caupght and start the spin machine.
The senator abhored by the thought of alcohol in a school. I wouldn't be surprised if he had a few around his office.
I enjoyed that bars on campus at my Uni.

But I think it was poor judgement to have a bar in an elementary school.
Just imagine the kids Monday morning ... " mmm the smell of beer ... & smoke.
Not to mention the kids wondering why what the condom machines are in the restrooms.
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Old Mar 31, 2010, 11:05 AM   #9
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And they only play Kidz Bop records.
So I dance with kids at the camp I volunteer at, all the time, and I walked into this bar last week with some friends, and "Party in the USA" was being played, and I was like, "You know, you don't get too much Miley Cyrus in bars...."

EDIT: Speaking of the rhetoric, it's too bad the club didn't have a more inappropriate name, like "Recess" or "Hot for Teacher."
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Old Mar 31, 2010, 01:04 PM   #10
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If I'm understanding this right, the bar only operated on weekends when no children were present, and children were not exposed to the alcohol in any way nor even aware that it was present, correct?

I understand the basic objection over having the two coexist in the same location, but I don't think it's nearly the issue it's being made out to be if they were sandboxed from each other to such a degree that the students were not aware. And even if it were an issue, why would you close the school and not the bar??
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Old Mar 31, 2010, 04:59 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by miles01110 View Post
He's against that, too.
What kind of comment is that (and by bolding what you did)? Even as a joke, that just fuels continued misperceptions. Which is completely wrong.

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Originally Posted by mkrishnan View Post
Speaking of the rhetoric, it's too bad the club didn't have a more inappropriate name, like "Recess" or "Hot for Teacher."
You're giving me a business idea there. Seriously. Thanks. This reminds me of an old schoolmate who now runs a bar called "Cherch." Which is great since he can cleverly market using the play on words....You can say things like, "I'm going to Cherch on Sunday..." "...to have some beers and watch the game."

And ditto on some of the thoughts here. The bar and kids don't mingle or cross in any way. What's the issue? I know some cities have laws which state a bar cant be located within X number of distance near a school. But this is a little different.
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