Equity & Diversity

Riots, School Cancellations, Conversations About Race Follow Police Shooting of Teen

By Evie Blad — August 11, 2014 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

The Jennings school district near St. Louis delayed today’s planned first day of school until Tuesday, citing safety concerns after rioting and looting in areas near its schools continued into the early morning hours, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.

Protests and anger erupted after police shot 18-year-old Michael Brown, an unarmed African-American, outside an apartment complex in nearby Ferguson, Mo., Saturday afternoon. The FBI has agreed to investigate the shooting, the Post-Dispatch reports.

“Safety is our uppermost concern,” Jennings Superintendent Tiffany Anderson wrote in a note to parents announcing Monday’s school closings. “At this time we do not feel it’s safe for our students to walk to school.”

The Ferguson-Florissant district is scheduled to start school Thursday. Missouri Education Commissioner Christ Nicastro said on Twitter that the state department of education “is working with area school districts as necessary to ensure the safety of students as school resumes.”

Protests Continue

While images of looting are filling newscasts, many peaceful protests and calls for careful examination of the shooting continue. Alderman Antonio French has been posting Twitter updates from the protests.

The Start of Conversations

Many are drawing parallels between the police shooting of Brown and the 2012 shooting of unarmed Florida teen Trayvon Martin. The Brown family has even hired the Martin family’s attorney, several outlets have reported. Nationally, the Missouri incident is sparking many of the same conversations about justice, race relations, and identity that the Martin case did. And it’s rekindling conversations about deep racial divides in the St. Louis region.

If you’re an educator looking for a peek into some students’ discussions on the situation, you might turn to social media, where hashtags like #Ferguson and #MikeBrown are popular. Under another hashtag, #IfTheyGunnedMeDown, young black men are having powerful conversations about how they are portrayed in the media that start with the question, “If they gunned me down, which picture would they use?”

Photo: A man jumps through a broken window with bottles of wine in his hands as a QuikTrip store is looted on Aug. 10, in Ferguson, Mo. —David Carson/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/AP

Follow @evieblad on Twitter or subscribe to Rules for Engagement to get blog posts delivered directly to your inbox.

Related Tags:

A version of this news article first appeared in the Rules for Engagement blog.


Commenting has been disabled on edweek.org effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Teaching Webinar
6 Key Trends in Teaching and Learning
As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and a return to the classroom for many—we come better prepared, but questions remain. How will the last year impact teaching and learning this school
Content provided by Instructure
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Leadership for Racial Equity in Schools and Beyond
While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to reveal systemic racial disparities in educational opportunity, there are revelations to which we can and must respond. Through conscientious efforts, using an intentional focus on race, school leaders can
Content provided by Corwin
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Evaluating Equity to Drive District-Wide Action this School Year
Educational leaders are charged with ensuring all students receive equitable access to a high-quality education. Yet equity is more than an action. It is a lens through which we continuously review instructional practices and student
Content provided by BetterLesson

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Equity & Diversity Reported Essay Do Students Have What They Need? One Survey Looks to Answer That Question
Even before the pandemic started, one state started thinking about how to understand student needs better. That plan accelerated with the virus.
4 min read
Conceptual Illustration
Pep Montserrat for Education Week
Equity & Diversity Reported Essay What the Indian Caste System Taught Me About Racism in American Schools
Born and raised in India, reporter Eesha Pendharkar isn’t convinced that America’s anti-racist efforts are enough to make students of color feel like they belong.
7 min read
Conceptual Illustration
Pep Montserrat for Education Week
Equity & Diversity Reported Essay Our Student Homeless Numbers Are Staggering. Schools Can Be a Bridge to a Solution
The pandemic has only made the student homelessness situation more volatile. Schools don’t have to go it alone.
5 min read
Conceptual illustration
Pep Montserrat for Education Week
Equity & Diversity How Have the Debates Over Critical Race Theory Affected You? Share Your Story
We want to hear how new constraints on teaching about racism have affected your schools.
1 min read
Illustrations.
Mary Hassdyk for Education Week