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Posted by Robert
Rap News Network
9/24/2003 9:23:08 PM

Tags and topics realted to this article include P. Diddy.

Puff Daddy, education role model?
Hip-hop impresario Sean (Puffy) Combs met yesterday with city schools fund-raiser Caroline Kennedy and two deputy mayors at the Tweed Courthouse to talk about the future of the largest school system in the country.

Combs' surprise 45-minute visit came a day after Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates pledged $51.2 million to help create 67 small high schools.

"I came here to have a meeting about education," Combs said as he walked with several members of his entourage and Deputy Mayor Dennis Walcott to a waiting black SUV.

When pressed for details about his meeting with Kennedy, Walcott and Deputy Mayor Patti Harris, he smiled and said, "Top-secret."

It wouldn't be his first foray into city school issues. In 2002, Combs and other hip-hop figures joined 20,000 students and teachers at a City Hall rally to press for a teachers contract, an event that ended with 13 arrests.

Ed Skyler, a spokesman for Mayor Bloomberg, said Combs "expressed an interest in learning more about New York City's schools and finding areas where he can provide assistance."

He certainly has some money to spare. Combs, 33, has built a lucrative empire as successful music producer, rapper and fashion designer.

But he also brings some baggage. In 2000, police found a stolen gun in Combs' car after he and then-girlfriend Jennifer Lopez fled a nightclub shooting. He was acquitted of all charges.

In 1991, nine people were killed in a stairway stampede at City College during a celebrity basketball game that Combs organized.

Combs went to public school in Harlem before moving to Mount Vernon, in Westchester County. He attended Mount St. Michael's, a Catholic high school in the Bronx.

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