Grand Island stops doing on campus memorials for deceased students and staff

Grand Island Senior High lockers.jpg

When a high school football player died in 2015, an outpouring of love spread across the Grand Island community. Friends sold t-shirts and wristbands and coaches retired his football jersey.

Now, G.I. Public Schools is tackling where to draw the line between keeping someone's memory alive and interrupting school time for memorials.

Administrators said, after a memorial for the popular student, more people started asking that their own deceased family also be recognized and to that same extent. They said it put the Grand Island Public School District in a tough spot. That’s when they say rules had to be set.

"It's that next step of honoring,” said Grand Island Associate Superintendent, Robin Dexter. “Do you cancel school? Do you open up the football filed for recognition? So, we've limited that recognition piece."

She said they wrestled with this decision because death is something that's difficult for most. But, when it comes to why, Dexter said it's simple.

The district said it wants to limit disruption to its learning environment.

"We offer the grief counseling and then recognition in the student yearbook. A one-page recognition of any student or staff member who has passed away. We will allow a moment of silence, but that's it on school premises," Dexter said.

GIPS will only be doing recognition for current students and staff.

"It's not about the person who has passed away or the person making the decision that's in policy, but this is how we recognize and honor the death of a current student or staff member," Dexter said.

GIPS has a crisis team to help counsel those affected by the death of students and staff. Dexter said they'll make changes as they see fit.

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