Kids in the Hall

Letters to the editor.

Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 4 | Posted Jan. 26, 2010

Share this Story:

Regarding Joel Mathis’ recent column about student activists:

I am Shania Morris, a member of the Philadelphia Student Union. When Mathis stated that the things I said came from the adults that work with us in Philadelphia Student Union, that was all wrong. What I said came from the talking points that we—the students—developed for the event.

I feel that Mathis took my quotes out of context and tried to make me state complaints about my school. That was not the purpose of why we were there. It was perfectly fine for me to stick to my main purpose and not go into specifics about incidents at my school. This piece of the article really made me feel unfairly attacked and misrepresented.


One of the saddest aspects of this article is that it is attempting to undermine the efforts of public school students in Philadelphia who are working to make a positive difference in their schools and communities. We all should be supporting their initiative to build better schools and student community in Philadelphia.

These students struggle to find a decent education in underfunded schools. They are up against huge structural odds, yet they spend their free time volunteering and organizing.

If they say that the root of the violence is poverty and neglect, then we need to listen to them! We need to support these students in making their schools and lives safer.


At the MLK Day event, the students who gathered were there to show that as young people we could be non-violent. That event was not to bash our schools or to criminalize students. On that day I stated talking points that youth in the organization came up with and decided upon. I would like to clearly state that the Philadelphia Student Union is a youth-led organization. We are a group of young people who notice problems in our schools and communities, and, instead of constantly just writing about what’s wrong, actually try to fix the problem.

After reading this article I felt attacked and insulted. That same day a wise man said “If you study the history of any movement, there was youth in the front,” just as the Philadelphia Student Union was on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.


Regarding Daniel Denvir’s recent article about giving birth in PA prisons:

This is insane! I’m appalled that in 2010, in the U.S., this is happening. It seems like some sort of medieval torture. There is no reason that this should happen to a pregnant woman whether she has committed a crime or not. It is unsafe and unethical. Not to mention the fact that they didn’t give her prenatal care, nor did they give her the proper nutrition for a healthy baby.

They subjected her to internal searches during her ninth month? Are they crazy? It’s amazing her baby came out alive. I hope she sues for damages and pursues her dream of becoming a nurse.

ZOE via

Everyone past the age of 12 knows right from wrong. When will people take responsibility for the choices they make? They should think before they open up their legs and commit a crime and then end up in prison, where they expect the public to have any kind of sympathy for their situation.


Add to favoritesAdd to Favorites PrintPrint Send to friendSend to Friend


Comments 1 - 4 of 4
Report Violation

1. Anonymous said... on Jan 27, 2010 at 01:16AM

“Joel Mathis; Boom! Roasted.”

Report Violation

2. SRosen said... on Jan 27, 2010 at 01:44AM

“Is Joel Mathis ready to post his official apology yet? I applaud Shania and Zakia for their thoughtful, levelheaded responses to his article!”

Report Violation

3. AC said... on Jan 27, 2010 at 09:03AM

“The Mathis piece deserves a public apology in the least.”

Report Violation

4. Anonymous said... on Jan 30, 2010 at 03:22PM

Gotta love how all these Mathis haters want the guy fired, when it's transparently obvious the guy was simply the lowest bidder for PW's ever growing need to replace an actual editorial pool with freelance "talent".”


(HTML and URLs prohibited)