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St. Louis shootings just miles apart leave at least three dead

Bystanders watch as the body of a shooting victim is removed on Saturday, June 15, 2019, from a home in the 4400 block of Richard Pl. in St. Louis. Photo by Christian Gooden, cgooden@post-dispatch.com

Regarding “In St. Louis, neighborhoods where kids die too young seem frozen in time” (July 1): Tony Messenger’s column rings true with me because I taught in the St. Louis Public school system at Blewett Middle School in 1970. The school was located at Cote Brilliante and Goodfellow.

One time, I asked my 42 students how many of them could get a gun if I let them leave school for one hour? Twenty-three said it would be easy. I walked the perimeter of the school in the morning and before school let out in the afternoon. I looked for guns and regularly found them stashed at the ready before school let out.

So many things have been frozen in time from then until today: gun violence, kids dying, food pantries low on staples and police officers dying. But most of my students then were great, as well as their families.

We’ve forgotten the gangs that were prevalent then but not quite as noticeable now. Mr. Messenger’s column was accurate but didn’t go back to 1970 when I was teaching.

William Bauer • St.Peters