Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Memorial Gift Timeline

From Rita Graci and the Franklin Athletes Never Quit page on Facebook:
Somehow during the discussion and debate on a “Memorial Policy” the discussion has now become about a family who may or may not have the means, power and resources to change a policy because they think they are “entitled” to change the rules. How and why has this happened? I can assure you this is not the case and it was never the intention of the Panther donation in memory of our daughter Kristin. Personally, I would like to throw the towel in on this game and give up. I am glad my daughter and son have been taught differently. Those that actually think that of us do not know us very well. I will comment on some facts for those who have made such comments. 
1. The Franklin Schools have always accepted memorials and donations of “in memory of” and “gifted by” without extensive advertising. 
2. This policy or acceptance has been in place for 30+ years. 
3. The Memorial Policy in place today was placed in front of the School Committee in January of 2014 and then again for a second read in February of 2014 for a vote. 
4. We started a process to put a memorial at the High School in memory of Kristin in March of 2012. 
5. Why was the policy to not accept memorials at our schools put in place? We built a new school and the question came about as to what to do with the memorials in the old school. Simple. Right? 
6. At no point did anyone advise us that a new policy was being considered during our donation process. 
7. When we told in June of 2014 that the School does not accept gifts in memory of or with a name plaque on a gift, we researched when this happened. 
8. We have done research on the surrounding schools. The new policy up for vote on February 24th (which has been the policy of the School for years) is in line with most if not all schools surrounding our community including many of the schools built under the same circumstances as our new school. 
9. We would like to ask each and every person in the community to take the Panther Donation out of the equation. Let’s imagine our new high school is in need of a new football stadium. The field needs to be replaced, the fencing, the track, the score board, the announcement booth, everything. Some wealthy, powerful, resourceful family (which is not us) would like to put a new football field in place. Let’s just say, they are asking to put their name on the score board as “gifted by” or “in memory” of their son who may have been an average student and a football player who passed away. Here is the big question you need to ask yourself. WHY WOULD A PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM PUT A POLICY IN PLACE THAT WOULD NOT ALLOW THE COMMUNITY AND SCHOOL TO ACCEPT THIS GENEROUS GIFT WITH OUT RECOGNITION???? We are a public school. We should not accept this gift because of a name plate on the gift and pass this expense to the taxpayers of Franklin? Does this make any sense to anyone in this community? 
10. Taking away public donated enhancements to our town, schools and community from a person who is alive or passed away is just WRONG!!!!! This has nothing to do with our children’s education. A gift that enhances our school or town does not hurt one student or person in this community. 
11. Let’s go back to the people who have commented that a family with the means, power, resources and entitlement. We have worked hard, saved for both our children’s education so they would not be burdened with huge student loans. Both our children went to public schools and state colleges. Let’s get a few things out in the open. Have any of you had to pay tens of thousands of dollars for medical bills to save your child’s life? Have you had to take those funds out of your child’s education fund to pay for those bills? Have you had to take those funds out of their education funds to pay for their funeral? Our grief and financial standing is none of your business. We attempted to do a nice thing in memory of our daughter and some people have made this disgusting. 
12. If life were to be equal, we would have our daughter, Patrick would not have passed away from a brain tumor, Leanne Schmall would not have died of Melanoma, Vanessa Cusson would still be with us, there would not be a playground in Kerry Driscoll’s memory and the list could go on forever. Children should receive the opportunity for equal education. Let children learn life and stop trying to protect them. The mission of the School Committee is to give each child an equal education. Children learn life as they live it, good and bad.
The second reading is on the agenda for the School Committee meeting this evening. The meeting is held at the Franklin Municipal Building, 355 East Central St (opposite Big Y). The meeting is held in the Council Chambers on the 2nd floor.

proposed memorial statue for Kristin Graci and the Class of 2007
proposed memorial statue for Kristin Graci and the Class of 2007

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