St. Louis County NAACP requests meeting with Ladue school district leadership
ST. LOUIS, Mo. — The St. Louis County NAACP formally reached out to Ladue school officials last Thursday to request a meeting between the two organizations regarding a racially- charged incident that took place that very day on a Ladue district school bus.
“As a former member of an area school board for over 20 years, I’ve seen firsthand the importance of insuring that students feel accepted and respected at school,” St. Louis County NAACP President Esther Haywood said. "It is our paramount priority to insure that all students feel safe in the Ladue school district and that we work closely with district leadership to insure that there’s a policy to deal with these incidents.”
John Gaskin III, NAACP national board member, says the St. Louis County branch is in the process of scheduling a meeting with Ladue school district officials.
“I was deeply saddened and troubled to hear about this unfortunate incident,” said Gaskin, a 2011 graduate of Ladue High School and the institution’s first-ever African American commencement speaker. “That is not the environment that was fostered during my time there and I know it’s not currently. It’s imperative that organizations like the NAACP work with school districts to maintain and protect an environment of tolerance and racial inclusion.”
Upon meeting, the St. Louis County branch plans to understand the school district’s policy or disciplinary process with these cases. If not already in place, the branch will propose a diversity and racial bias training program for students.
“If the Ladue school district does not have one, we are happy to help them develop one, along with all school districts in St. Louis County,” Gaskin said.
In a fragile moment in the history of this country, the St. Louis County NAACP’s top priority is that students regardless of race, sexual orientation, gender and ethnicity are treated equally and with respect.
Said Gaskin: “Following last Tuesday’s general election, racially-charged incidents have
occurred in schools across the country. We certainly don’t want St. Louis to play a role."
Founded in 1909 the NAACP is America's oldest and largest premiere civil rights organization. The Missouri NAACP has over 15 units across the state that work to move the organization's civil rights agenda on a grass roots level.