Education: Wellston, Mo.: Is A Fortress The Solution?

In a couple of years my father, Dr. Ronald Stodghill, is planning to retire after 16 years as superintendent of Wellston Public Schools, a small, predominantly black district of 725 students just west of St. Louis. It is the poorest city in St. Louis County, a place where unemployment reaches 60%, and 90% of the district's students live without their father. At the elementary school last April hung a picture of a 9-year-old killed when a bullet punctured the front door of her home. The middle-school administrator estimates that two-thirds of her students were exposed to drugs in the womb.

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