Superintendent calls district he has led for 10 years “systemically racist”


On June 6, 2020, Webster Groves Schools Superintendent John Simpson emailed parents that characterized the district he has run for ten years as “systemically racist.”

Simpson asserts “I’m not saying that all police officers are bad or all educators are bad, but they (we) operate within systems that, by their outcomes, clearly privilege one race over another. It’s undeniable.” Near the end of the email he writes, “As your superintendent and as a white man, I must hold myself and our school system to a greater level of accountability in how we see and support our Black children, staff and parents and how our work is leading to the dismantling of the inequitable systems and structures within our district.”

The district is now in the process of revamping its social studies curriculum; one of the goals is “[t]o design an inclusive and relevant Social Studies curriculum with an emphasis on equity and social justice.” The district notes that its learning targets “are based upon the Missouri Learning Standards as well as the Social Justice Standards outlined by Teaching Tolerance, a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center.”


George Floyd +, Each Child Each Day, June 3, 2020

Draft of K-8 Social Studies Curriculum Revision and Survey, Webster Groves School District