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Teacher killed in south St. Louis school shooting laid to rest Monday

Jean Kuczka was killed Oct. 24, after a former student broke into Central VPA High School and began to fire off rounds.

ST. LOUIS — Jean Kuczka, a teacher at Central Visual and Performing Arts High School, was laid to rest Monday morning.

Her students said she died a hero after stepping between them and the gunman who entered Central VPA last week.

Kuczka and student Alex Bell were both killed Oct. 24, after a former student broke into Central VPA High School and began to fire off rounds.

There was a visitation in Kuczka's honor Sunday night at Kutis Funeral Home in Afton. Many from the community came together to pay their respects.

At 9 a.m. Monday, a funeral procession made its way from the funeral home to Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis. Her funeral began at 10 a.m.

Kuczka is survived by her husband, two sons and three daughters. She also had six grandchildren.

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The shooting has shaken the community.

Though students at CVPA and Collegiate high schools were scheduled to start virtual learning this week, the district has made a change of plans, giving them more time to heal.

Saint Louis Public Schools posted an announcement.

“Central Visual and Performing Arts High School (CVPA), and Collegiate School of Medicine and Bioscience (CSMB) will remain closed for the week of October 31, 2022-November 4, 2022,” the post said, in part.

5 On Your Side spoke with one woman outside the memorial at Central VPA High School. She shared that her young cousin, a Central VPA student, is struggling to cope with the tragedy.

"They're having a hard time grieving, she said. "I am very concerned."

RELATED: 'She never gave up on me': Remembering lives lost in St. Louis school shooting

Saint Louis Public Schools is offering virtual, in-person and phone counseling for students and staff who need support during this time.

Monday, the district is providing in-person counseling services at POWER4STL (T-Hive) at The Delmar Divine from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The district has posted more details on accessing virtual counseling services on its twitter page. Click here for more information.

Funeral arrangements for Alexander Bell was confirmed by her mother Friday.

Bell's visitation is planned for Saturday, Nov. 5 at 10 a.m. at Faith Church-Earth City. Bell will be buried at Friedens Cemetery and Mausoleum in Bellefontaine Neighbors.


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