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Kirkwood stories make an impact


Observations lead to this ‘Making a Difference’ recognition

by Hillary DeVoss

Sometimes, student journalists write a story so impactful it captures the attention of an entire city.

That was certainly the case when Kirkwood Call student editors Thomas Birmingham, Logan Crews and Jack Rintoul acted on their observations, as well as those from other students at Kirkwood High School: the teaching staff at their school was overwhelmingly white, but that didn’t reflect the racial makeup of the student body.

Students of color were talking about this and how it negatively affected their education.

“We became curious about the hiring process to become a teacher at our school and how race relations in our city play into the diversity of the staff,” the editors remarked. So, under the tutelage of adviser Mitch Eden, they dove in.

The story sparked open conversation about the topic on their campus. It also grabbed the attention of St. Louis media.

A journalist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch wrote her own version of the story, using the Kirkwood Call’s story as a model after it had been recommended to her as well-researched investigative report.

One of the Call’s writers, Jack Rintoul, also talked to a journalist for St. Louis Public Radio and said that at one of their round-table discussions, they brought up “Diversity” as a good idea to pursue and acknowledged the staff’s hard work.

Months later, Kirkwood High School juniors wrote essays to the Human Rights Commission about race relations in their city. Conversations about this issue continue to take place in Kirkwood High School.

Read “Diversity” here.

For past Making a Difference coverage, go here.

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