NAACP, Ladue schools host town hall on race

LADUE, MO (KPLR) - Emotions filled the auditorium of the Ethical Society of St. Louis Wednesday night for a town hall discussion on race in the Ladue School District.

"It was a place to start, it was a place to acknowledge pain and hurt" said Ladue School Board President, Sheri Glantz.  "Some of the experiences that the current board, the board before or the board before might not have known or people in the districts might not have known" she said.

The town hall was hosted by the NAACP and the Ladue School District.  The goal of the town hall was to offer a safe space for people to have their voices heard and to find a way to move forward together.

"I am so proud of how tactful and respectful everyone was tonight" said John Gaskin, a member of the national NAACP who hosted the town hall.  "It was very, very good".

The town hall comes amid recent controversial incidents and growing racial tension in the school district, some students even walking out of school in protest.

"Whatever underlying issues in the district did not start two weeks ago and I think it was great to have the conversation" Glantz said.  "I think it's great that we had the conversation" she said.

For nearly two hours, current and former students, parents, teachers and school officials talked about some of the issues concerning race they've experienced in the Ladue School District.

"This was a conversation that needed to be had, hopefully it won't be the last one" said John McIntosh, a member of Ladue's class of 1987.  "We can address this problem here and hopefully it can spread throughout the nation" he said.

The NAACP plans to continue working with the district to implement strategies to move the district forward.  A second town hall meeting is being planned for after the holidays.