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Education news and issues in the Ozarks.

SPS Exercising Caution About Scheduling Student Events in St. Louis

Students from Central High School, which is located across the street from Drury, have made some contributions to, a
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Students from Central High School, which is located across the street from Drury, have made some contributions to, a

Growing concern over potential reaction to the grand jury decision in Ferguson has prompted Springfield officials to think twice about where to send its students. KSMU’s Theresa Bettmann explains.

Clayton High School had planned to host a debate tournament this weekend before it was canceled Thursday morning. Clayton is the site of where a grand jury has been meeting to decide whether to indict Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown.

But a district spokesperson said the cancelation was not due to potential protests in the area, but that more than half of the 29 schools set to participate had withdrawn from the event.

That included Central High School in Springfield, which withdrew earlier this week.  Springfield Public Schools Spokesperson Teresa Bledsoe says student safety is the top priority.

“That uncertainty of the timing of the [grand jury] announcement and the proximity of the event location to the courthouse were the main factors in that [decision],” Bledsoe explains.

Not all St. Louis events are canceled, explains Bledsoe.  They are considered on a case by case basis.

“We have another Central High School group, the chamber choir, they have an event in the St. Louis area this weekend and they’re proceeding with theirs,” says Bledsoe.

Central High School’s chamber choir will be at Webster University in St. Louis Friday. Bledsoe says planners are confident that the location will not be impacted should a grand jury announcement come ahead of the event.

Theresa received her undergraduate degree in sociology at Missouri State University, as well as her Master's degree in Social Work at MSU. Theresa enjoys writing, drawing, reading, music, working with animals, and most of all spending time with her family. She wishes to continue to use her experiences, combined with her pursuit of education, to foster a sense of empowerment and social awareness in the community. Theresa loves working with KSMU and attributes her passion for NPR, and love of learning, to her father.