Baraboo students demand apology from school after staff removed crash victim memorials

BARABOO, Wis. — Baraboo High School students are demanding an apology from school officials after the school removed memorials from the lockers of two students killed in a car crash last month.

BHS junior Jack Blessinger said he went to school Monday morning to find the memorial he created for his friend was no longer there.

“I didn’t think the school could do something like this like I thought that they had more respect,” he said.

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After meeting with staff, students were dissatisfied with the schools choice to remove the memorials so they responded with a protest.

They placed sticky notes with the letters LLA and LLF, to mean Long Live Adlai and Long Live Faith on dozens of lockers at the school.

“All the kids that cared and the principal just went down and took all the sticky notes away,” Belissinger said.

Senior Abby Kolk said the school didn’t respond well to their protest, telling students they could be charged with vandalism.

In a news release Baraboo School District officials said while they understand the memorials are a part of the grieving process for some, they stated it can also negatively affect others.

“The memorials placed at student lockers were relocated to the Baraboo High School (BHS) Student Services area to prevent the potential for re-traumatizing students and staff,” it reads.

According to the district’s release staff will be working with close friends and family to create a permanent memorial for the two students killed in the crash.

Officials also said the memorials will remain on school grounds until the end of the week when they will be given to the victims’ families.

“At the end of the day it’s more traumatizing to take that down than to keep it up,” said Blessinger. “It’s Long Live Adlai and it’s Long Live Faith and the school doesn’t seem to realize that.”

Students are planning to stage a walkout Friday morning in protest of the school’s actions, holding a moment of silence for the crash victims and demanding an apology from the school.