KUSD Bans Memorial For Slain Student; Cites Need for “Neutrality”
Sep 17, 2019 @ 7:36pm
KENOSHA, WI–The family of a slain Kenosha teen says that Kenosha Unified is preventing a tribute to their daughter at this Friday night’s Bradford football game. A tribute to Kaylie Juga was planned by her cheerleader teammates at halftime of Friday’s game. That tribute is not being allowed.
The issue stems from another tribute that was planned-for Kaylie’s alleged killer Martice Fuller. Fuller’s step-brother apparently wanted to wear a tribute to him on his football uniform, something that was not allowed after complaints to the Kenosha Unified School Board from Kaylie’s father, Nick Juga.
After this Friday’s tribute to Kaylie was announced, Fuller’s family similarly complained, saying that both tributes should be either allowed or banned.
In a statement, KUSD says that after seeking counsel from attorneys they have decided to stay “neutral” and not allow the Kaylie tribute to move forward. That position has elicited outcry on social media, in no small part from the Juga family.
Nick Juga told WLIP that he finds the district’s decision unbelievable.
KUSD says they will not stop students from memorializing Kaylie on their own time but it will not be allowed when the students are officially representing their school.
Listen to Nick Juga’s entire phone call to WLIP below.
*note explicit language
Here is Kenosha Unified’s Statement on the situation:
For those who reached out regarding a statement, please see below:
The staff and students of Kenosha Unified School District, along with members of the Kenosha community, continue to grapple with the tragic shooting incident that occurred in our community last spring. In recent weeks and days, the District received requests from students, parents, and the general public, including representatives of both families, concerning the District’s position regarding memorializing or acknowledging the students involved. The District sought legal counsel with Lori M. Lubinsky, attorney with Axley Brynelson, LLP regarding these requests and has decided to follow the legal advice received.
The District will not sanction any memorials or acknowledgements because it would be legally required to do so for all students involved in order to protect the District against possible legal claims. Instead, the District will remain neutral. While the District fully supports students and staff in moments of crisis, it cannot allow memorializing or acknowledging one student without allowing it for both.
In addition, student-organized efforts will not be endorsed and/or supported by the District and/or its personnel. However, the District will not prevent students from memorializing or acknowledging those involved in their own ways, except when they are acting on behalf of or representing Bradford and/or the District (e.g. as an athlete, speaker, performer, etc.).
Many in the Kenosha community may not agree with this difficult decision, but the District asks that the public honor its decision as it works to take into consideration the well-being of all of its students – past, present and future.
In closing, the District cares deeply for everyone involved, and our thoughts are with all of the families, friends and community members impacted by this event.