Letter to the Editor

Fate of Cobb teachers needs telling

Saturday, September 18, 2004

To the editor:

I read your article on the 50th anniversary of the closing of Cobb School. I was pleased you covered it. It was encouraging to hear stories of a thriving school in the African-American community in Cape Girardeau and the lives of the people it touched. As a young, white member of society, I find these stories important to hear and particularly helpful to me in educating my perspective on the world around me.

I was disappointed to see that the article nowhere mentioned the injustice that was experienced at the closing of Cobb School. While integrating the schools, the Cape Girardeau School District did not hire any of the excellent teachers from Cobb School. Ultimately, the well-educated and esteemed leaders of the African-American community had to take lower jobs or leave the area. I am told the effects of this are still felt today.

I was completely unaware of this injustice until it was brought to my attention at a Martin Luther King Day celebration a couple of years ago. I imagine the vast majority of Cape is still unaware of it. From what I understand, there has never been an apology issued by the school district. The community needs to be informed about this and needs to respond accordingly.