If "Black Lives Matter"ed the Kirkwood School District would open its schools for at least our most marginalized students. The Centers for Disease Control and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that schools open for on-site education.

The American Academy of Pediatrics states that “Schools are critical to addressing racial and social inequity. School closure and virtual educational modalities have had a differential impact at both the individual and population level for diverse racial, ethnic, and vulnerable groups, according to the guidance. Evidence from spring 2020 school closures points to negative impacts on learning. Children and adolescents also have been placed at higher risk of morbidity and mortality from physical or sexual abuse, substance use, anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation.”

The district employees should muster a sense of duty and obligation for our most vulnerable students. Kirkwood’s Black students have a MAP testing adequacy percentage of less than 30%. That means that seven out of ten African American students are below proficient in English, math and science.

Fully 25% of all Kirkwood students are not proficient in math and a whopping 38% are not proficient in science on MAP tests. That means that there are many underperforming white students as well that need help.

The Kirkwood School District, whose employees are among the highest paid teachers and administrators in the state, should go beyond the rhetoric of Black Lives Matter and hold in-school classes for those students that are struggling.

Martin Bennet

Des Peres