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Troubled alternative school throws in the towel

By Dwayne Parker, Reporter, DParker@wfmz.com
Published On: Jan 30 2013 06:00:00 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 31 2013 01:26:35 PM CST

Troubled alternative school throws in the towel

READING, Pa. -

An alternative school responsible for educating Reading School District students with education and disciplinary problems has left the city.

Workers on Wednesday loaded chairs and desks into moving trucks outside Delaware Valley High School (DVHS) in Reading.

69 News spoke exclusively with one of the teachers, who said the move came as a surprise.

"They called us Monday morning and said that we were no more. There was no real explanation given to us," said the teacher, who did not want to reveal his identity.

The Reading School Board recently decided to terminate its agreement with DVHS after a disturbing on-site visit to the school.

Court documents indicate that students, among other things, defecated in classrooms, and there was excessive fighting.

Reports also indicated that some staff members tried to cover up violent behavior.

"We just couldn't get them to do anything. They pretty much had free run of the school," said the teacher.

In March, a DVHS student supplied 69 News with cell phone video of a school bus fight gone wild.

In September, a riot broke out, and teachers were threatened and students challenged police to a fight, investigators said.

Once officer was cut with a razor blade, and another was injured in the knee, authorities said.

Now, the teacher interviewed by 69 News said he's just trying to move on with his life as best he can.

"I have nothing to fall back on," he said. "I did have an interview today. Hopefully that pans out. It's a hard market to find a teaching job. It's very frustrating."

DVHS was scheduled to continue teaching students until Feb. 9, but DVHS informed the district this week that it would be pulling out of Reading immediately, according to district officials.

69 News reached out to DVHS, but our calls and e-mails were not returned.

The Reading School District issued this statement:

"The students will transition to alternative education sites operated by Berks County Intermediate Unit. High school students in grades 9-12 will be educated at the Learning Academy at Alsace, and students in grades 6-8 will be educated at Thomas Ford Elementary School."