KIRKWOOD, Mo. – North Glendale Elementary and the Kirkwood School District are receiving backlash from families over this year’s yearbook cover.
Shortly after the yearbook made it into student’s homes, parents of black students took to Facebook to share their disgust with the cover causing controversy between parents, North Glendale’s PTO, and district administration.
“I am used to these types of activities that are going on with the Kirkwood School District. This is one of the things that we want to make others aware of. They are forgetting about minorities,” said parent Jeremy Jones.
North Glendale Elementary held a school-wide contest allowing students to submit drawings to serve as the cover for the 2019-2020 yearbook. Parents say the drawing that was selected seemingly neglected students of color. Jeremy Jones has two children who currently attend the school.
“Unfortunately, the Kirkwood School District dropped the ball here. North Glendale dropped the ball. They made a huge mistake for leaving the identity of African-American students out of their yearly school book,” said Jeremy Jones.
The ultimate decision rested in the hands of North Glendale’s Parent Teacher Organization. Once yearbooks made it into homes, parents began arguing on the North Glendale Elementary PTO’s Facebook page. The page was recently taken down.
“It’s no shame to the kids because they were just doing their best to create their own art. But, you can see that as an adult, it didn’t have any type of cultural awareness,” said Jeremy Jones.
Carl Jones says racial issues in Kirkwood are nothing new.
“We’ve tried for years to come to the table and negotiate, try to get things changed, and nothing seems to ever happen,” said Carl Jones.
The PTO tells FOX 2 news they made a mistake. They recognize the cover does not represent all students within the school. An email was sent to North Glendale Elementary parents expressing their sincerest apology.
A statement released says, in part: “The PTO, the school, and the Kirkwood School District take full responsibility. We have all learned from this situation. We commend our school community in coming together to learn from each other.
District administrators will have the yearbook reprinted with new cover art after a complete audit. They will be distributed to students at a later time.