The St. Louis schools Superintendent Kelvin Adams is CONSIDERING the most drastic action the school system could possibly take in dealing with the off-the-charts violence at Sumner High. Shutting it down for good.
This school has been around since 1875. The current building will be 100 years old next year. Sumner just got its first ever football field this year. Tina Turner, Arthur Ashe, Robert Guillaume and Dick Gregory went there. There's a ton of history associated with what was the first high school for black students west of the Mississippi.
I tried all afternoon to get in touch with the Superintendent but a school administration official said he was out and unavailable. He's already been talking to city leaders, alumni and plans to talk to students at Sumner High before making a recommendation to the board.
The president of the alumni group told me alumni will rally to fight to keep the school open. Jacqueline Vanderford told me if the school gets rid of the 25 biggest troublemakers and provides more extra-curricular activities to give the less than 600 students a sense of pride in their school they could show there's no need to shut the school down.
Dr. Adams hasn't made a decision yet but must be getting close. He put out this brief statement late this afternoon while he was out of the office:
"I want to ake sure students at Sumner High School and every school in our district receive a safe, secure, high quality education. To that end, I am reviewing data and meeting with stakeholders as I consider the best options for our students at Sumner High."
The school board meets at 6pm Thursday night at the administrative building. I imagine a few members of the public will show up with some comments for them on this issue.