ST. LOUIS – This week marks an emotional anniversary. A former student with a gun entered Central Visual and Performing Arts High School, killing a student and a teacher. Leaving a deep scar on the community.
The St. Louis Public School District has declared October 24 as a day of remembrance for the victims of the tragedy, but classes are canceled Monday and Tuesday as a result of the trauma and stress that still lingers. This applies to students who go to Central Visual and Performing Arts High School and the Collegiate School of Medicine and Bioscience, which shares its campus with the St. Louis Public School District.
On that day last year, a gunman shot his way into the south St. Louis school. 15-year-old sophomore Alexzandria Bell and teacher Jean Kuczka lost their lives; several others were injured. The 19-year-old suspect graduated from CVPA.
The superintendent of St. Louis Public Schools, Dr. Keisha Scarlett, sent a heartfelt letter to families, acknowledging the pain and grief people still have. It states, in part:
“In the face of adversity, our community has demonstrated remarkable resilience and strength. Together, we have taken steps towards healing from that fateful day. However, it remains crucial that we come together as a community to acknowledge the difficult emotions that persist within our hearts.”
District officials say grief counselors will be available at the schools to provide support for students and staff. In our next half hour, we’ll tell you about the safety changes the district has made since the tragic school shooting.