Kevin Bethel reshaped Philly’s schools. Here’s a look at his time as the district’s safety chief.

By Kristen A. Graham, The Philadelphia Inquirer | November 21, 2023

Former Stoneleigh Fellow and current Board Member Kevin Bethel was interviewed by The Philadelphia Inquirer about his time as the Philadelphia School District’s safety chief after Mayor-elect Cherelle Parker named him as the city’s next police commissioner.

On Kevin Bethel’s watch, the Philadelphia School District reshaped and rebranded its school police force, shifting from a traditional law-enforcement group to “school safety officers,” with an emphasis on mentoring and supporting students.

Bethel, whom Mayor-Elect Cherelle Parker has tapped as the city’s next police commissioner, has spent the last four years as the Philadelphia School District’s safety chief, steering the system away from arrests and insisting on trauma-informed practices, restorative justice and training in adolescent development for his officers.

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