Philly's Harambee Charter School housed a weekend club with a full bar in its cafeteria. Outraged officials shuttered Club Damani and are looking into the school's involvement in the shadiness. But are clubs and elementary schools really so at odds?
"Fernando Gallard, a spokesman for the school district, said his office was investigating whether the school, the Harambee Institute of Science and Technology Charter School itself rented the cafeteria to the bar, known as Club Damani, or if the landlord did so. In the meantime, Mr. Gallard said, the city has asked the bar to cease operating or the school to move."
This isn't all that surprising and the location is not as incongruous as you might think.
When you think about it, a Saturday night in da club is really the adult version of recess. And remember back in 1st grade how you had designated nap times, with gold stars earning you sleeping rights on that prime beanbag chair? Well, there's nothing like a furtive catnap to deliver a second wind during a long night out. Patrons of singles bars, after a few G&Ts (or Yuenglings, since this is Philadelphia) are happy to serve or lap up a helping of mystery meat that school cafeterias the world over are known for.
Charter schools have a particular allure as and similarities to bars. They're tougher to get into than your average crappy public school, so would appeal to the Avenue and Top of the Standard crowds. Controversial vouchers are incentives similar to happy hours and "Ladies Drink Free!" nights. And school IDs are like the hand stamps or wristbands bouncers dole out as proof of entry, only they don't serve as queasy morning after reminders you desperately gnaw off or scrub away in the shower.
Anyway, if budget cuts continue to imperil New York schools, don't be surprised if a nightclub comes to P.S. 237 down the street.