Mr. Hackney's School 2011
A series on South Philadelphia High's new principal Otis Hackney, who was tasked with providing healing solutions to the racial violence. The school was where 30 Asian students were attacked by their fellow classmates in 2009. The attacks rocked the city, with reverberations around the country sparking a state investigation, a federal probe and a series of city hearings on school violence.
Hackney was given unprecedented access to teachers, students, and school police. He - and the team of teachers and supervisors he assembled - provided a calming presence to racial tensions that had developed in the school's culture. The photo essay illustrates how difficult it is to run a school where neighborhood violence seems to spill into classrooms every day.
These images and others in the series formed part of a team coverage that won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service.