St. Louis School Districts Respond To Summer Gun Violence, Loss Of Students | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis School Districts Respond To Summer Gun Violence, Loss Of Students

Aug 16, 2019

During the first week of the school year, St. Louis Public Schools didn’t just deal with summer learning loss – it started classes without several of its students.

Megan Marietta (left) is the manager of social work services at St. Louis Public Schools, and Kevin Hampton is Ferguson-Florissant School District's executive director of communications.
Credit EMILY WOODBURY | ST. LOUIS PUBLIC RADIO

“We have a 7-year-old who will not be starting school today,” said the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department’s Mary Warnecke, who spoke with reporters on Tuesday. “We have a 10-year-old murdered not that long ago, in the city of St. Louis, who will not be starting school today. We have a 2-year-old murdered on Ferris not so long ago. We have a 3-year-old who was murdered on Michigan not so long ago.”

The district has lost four children to gun violence over summer break, including the most recent death of Xavier Usanga, an incoming second grader at Clay Elementary, who was shot and killed on Monday. 

“It is an experience that our children unfortunately experience time and time again,” said Megan Marietta, manager of social work services at St. Louis Public Schools. “And we are seeing that our children are desensitized to the loss. [...] Some children don’t come and utilize the [crisis] team. Some staff won’t utilize the team because, unfortunately, they are becoming numb.”

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Sarah Fenske talked with Marietta as well as Kevin Hampton, Ferguson-Florissant School District’s executive director of communications, about the ways their districts are helping St. Louis kids cope with a long, violent summer.

Hear their conversation:

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St. Louis on the Air” brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. The show is hosted by Sarah Fenske and produced by Alex Heuer, Emily Woodbury, Evie Hemphill, Lara Hamdan and Alexis Moore. The engineer is Aaron Doerr, and production assistance is provided by Charlie McDonald.

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