New policy will remember students by scholarships, donations
By Erik Buchinger
The Clintonville School Board split the vote on what to do with memorial plaques during a meeting on Monday, Dec. 12.
The school board conducted a roll call vote, and three voted to remove the plaques, which are located in the Clintonville High School commons, and three voted to keep them up.
Because there was a tie, the plaques that are currently in place will remain. Future deaths will be remembered not with plaques or memorials on school grounds or buildings, but in the form of scholarships or donations to crisis centers or other charitable organizations.
Jim Dins, Ben Huber and Clyde Tellock voted to have the plaques taken down, while Lori Poppe, Mark Zachow and Tom Neely voted against it. Jim Schultz was absent from the meeting.
Memorial plaques pay tribute to students and staff who have died while associated with the school.
Prior to the vote, School Board President Dins and board member Huber said from the research they have done, the plaques should be removed.
“There’s always going to be people on both sides, but when you get a consensus of the best minds in medicine saying it one way, I’ll support their findings,” Huber said.
Dins said he learned a lot during his research on the matter and saw a need for change.
“Now that we know what we know, I think it’s time for us to set a policy,” Dins said. “In the long run, it will be the best policy that we can have for our school.”
Board member Lori Poppe was against removing the memorial plaques.
“I’m not sure this is such a good idea,” Poppe said. “I’ve listened to the community, and I’ve done my own research. [Studies] show that’s how it’s supposed to be, but this is a small community that has had these plaques up for many years. We’ve heard a lot of our students and a lot of our community say it’s not such a bad thing to help these kids get through these types of things by seeing them there.”
During the meeting, Huber said he had conversations with students regarding the topic.
“I’ve had a lot of discussions in my house with lots of high school kids, and some of them are very passionate about this,” Huber said. “I do not take this vote lightly, and I do not take their feelings likely. We have accommodated by saying that the plaques that are up will stay up his or her graduating class with no more new plaques.”
The next school board meeting will be held on Monday, Jan. 9.