The will to live
by Solomon Jones
LAST WEEK, my wife and I lay in the darkness, our heartbeats ringing in our ears as we recalled the day’s tragedy. So much had happened so quickly that it was difficult to process or verbalize.
That is, until my wife posed the question that encapsulated our fears.
“Do you have a living will?”
“No,” I said.
But even as I spoke, I knew that answer had to change. The day’s events dictated as much.
The Big stories of 2013
FOR PHILADELPHIA, 2013 was filled with crushing lows and euphoric highs, but the biggest stories shaped us, made us better, and united us in ways we could never have imagined.
School Closings – Facing a $304 million structural budget deficit, the School District of Philadelphia closed 24 public schools in 2013. In a city with at least 40,000 vacant parcels, the closings placed large abandoned buildings in communities that could ill-afford more vacant structures.
But the buildings are merely what we see. We can’t know how these closures will affect our children’s futures. We do, however, know this. In the schools that closed, over 90 percent of the students were economically disadvantaged. That means our most vulnerable students suffered the greatest losses.
Adults, meanwhile, spent much of the time casting blame.
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