EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. - The superintendent in Edwardsville told teachers not to discuss the situation in Ferguson, in their classrooms, and that didn't sit well with some parents.
Superintendent Dr. Ed Hightower says this is all in the name of safety. He won't talk about specific events that happened at the high school, but says things were so tense last Friday and this Monday, that he was worried Edwardsville was about to end up on national news.
And for that reason, Hightower sent a memo to teachers telling them not to discuss Ferguson in class. He says parents were calling the principal, and his office, saying teachers were showing bias and injecting personal opinions into discussions about the death of Michael Brown.
Hightower says the tension wasn't isolated to just a couple of classrooms and he was worried students could be in danger. He now says in hindsight, he could have worded the memo to teachers a little differently and says he's meeting with students, teachers and parents about how they should approach the subject of Ferguson.
"We're going to have those discussions. But they're going to be meaningful discussions. And it won't be trying this case in the classroom. It will be about the greater good of humanity and how we can live grow work support each other as we move forward," said Hightower.
Hightower isn't the only school leader with this concern. We talked to several districts in the metro area, and while none had a policy of any kind about how Ferguson is discussed, several told us they are proceeding very cautiously when it comes to the topic in school.