ST. LOUIS – Nearly three months after a deadly shooting on campus, students at Central Visual and Performing Arts High School in south St. Louis returned to in-person learning Tuesday morning.
A crowd gathered outside the CVPA to welcome students when they arrived before 7:00 a.m. Parents, CVPA alumni, and others cheered for the kids and gave them high-fives as they returned to class for the first time since the tragedy.
Back on October 24, a former CVPA graduate opened fire inside the school, killing 15-year-old student Alexzandria Bell and 61-year-old teacher Jean Kuczka.
Several others were also hurt; the shooter was killed by police.
CVPA students have been going to school virtually, and school officials shared that they expect some students will continue doing that. Extra security measures are in place at the school, including eight on-site security officers – some are armed.
There are also more police patrols in the neighborhood and additional cameras throughout the campus. More than 160 interior doors have been replaced as well.
Among those at the school Tuesday morning was Alexandria Bell’s mother, Keisha Acres. Here is some of what she and the CVPA Principal told us earlier.
“I’m overwhelmed, but I’m here for the kids. I’m in the mom role right now, so it’s not about me, it’s about them. That’s pretty much where it is. It’s about the children and me standing in the gap for the parents that can’t be here so, I would want somebody to do it for my daughter.”
Dr. Kacy Shahid, the CVPA Principal, told FOX 2, “It’s been very surreal. This has been an unprecedented moment, so I cannot describe what it has felt like. I can just tell you that every day I wake up, and I’ve attempted to show up, and that’s all I can really say. So the feeling is indescribable.”
CVPA students will be on half days for this week and next week as they adapt to being in school again.