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Teacher killed in St. Louis cited recent safety issue


The daughter of the teacher shot dead in the St. Louis school shooting says her mother mentioned a safety issue last semester – telling relatives that a student from another school had brought in a gun in the building.

“She mentioned that, but other than that, she really didn’t think anything” about safety issues, Abigail Kuczka told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch of Jean Kuczka, 61, the physical education teacher kill.

“I mean, I think people think it’s never going to happen to them,” she added.

Orlando Harris, 19, a graduate of Central Visual and Performing Arts High School last year, entered the building through a locked door on Monday morning and opened fire, police said.

Kuczka and 15-year-old student Alexandria Bell died in the rampage, which left seven other teenagers injured. The shooter was killed by the police.

Physical education teacher Jean Kuczka, 61, died in the shooting at Central Visual and Performing Arts High School.
Facebook / Jean Kirk Kuczka
Killed teacher Jean Kuczka
The mother of three daughters and two sons – one of whom is a police officer in Eureka – taught health, personal finance and physical education.
Facebook / Jean Kirk Kuczka
Abigail Kuczka's Facebook Page
“She loved her students. I know her students looked at her like she was their mother,” Kuczka’s daughter Abigail said.
Facebook / Kuczka Abbey

The beloved teacher had been teaching at the school since 2008, according to her school biography.

“My mother loved children,” Abigail told the newspaper. “She loved her students. I know her students looked at her like she was their mother.

In a tweet, school district employee Glenn Barnes called Kuczka “an amazing educator” who has made a difference in her community.

“It’s a huge loss,” he wrote.

School shooting scene
Kuczka and 15-year-old student Alexandria Bell died in the rampage, which left seven other teenagers injured. The shooter was killed by the police.
PA

Kuczka attended Southwest Missouri State University, now Missouri State, on a field hockey scholarship and was a member of the 1979 national championship team, the Post-Dispatch reported.

At Central Visual and Performing Arts High School, the mother of three daughters and two sons – one of whom is a police officer in Eureka – taught health, personal finance and physical education

She recently started coaching cross country at the Collegiate School of Medicine and Bioscience in the same building.

“It was her first year of empty nesting, and she was looking for something more to do,” Abigail told the newspaper. “She was really looking forward to retirement. She was close.

Kuczka, an avid cyclist, has participated in annual events to raise funds to help fight childhood diabetes. One of her sons was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was 10, Abigail said.

Reached by phone by the Post-Dispatch on Monday evening, her husband Stephen choked up saying he didn’t want to comment yet.

New York Post

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