Senator Brian Stewart (R-Freeport) and Representative Andrew Chesney (R-Freeport) have released a statement in support of the grieving community members opposing the decision of their local Freeport School Board to remove two memorial stones honoring two former student-athletes.
Shaun Bradbury and Kyle Tucker, Freeport High School alumni, were tragically murdered on Feb. 3, 2019.
The legislators joined family members of the victims in questioning, and more importantly, encouraging the reversal of the School Board’s decision to remove memorial monument stones installed inside Pretzel Stadium last year honoring two proud Freeport Pretzels.
“As a proud Freeport Pretzel, I join the families in calling for the School Board to reconsider and reverse their decision which the family and supporters believed were being installed through the proper channels and in good faith. There is no court decision, nor a heavy hand of government demanding this decision, perhaps except for the School Board,” Stewart said.
“As we approach the one-year anniversary of this tragic incident, neither the families nor the community agree with this terrible decision coming out of the Freeport School Board,” Chesney said. “When bad decisions are made, we all have the ability as public officials to step back and ask yourself if what you’re doing passes a common-sense empathy test. I think it’s clear the Board should reflect here and reverse course,” said Representative Andrew Chesney.
The Board announced recently that the memorials were installed without the Board’s approval, despite having approval from the school’s Athletic Director. The two stone memorials were cemented down at Freeport High School Football Stadium honoring the two men, who were notable football alumni and took the team to a conference championship and beat Boylan High School in the 2000 Homecoming game. Their former classmates raised the money for the memorials. The memorial monuments were installed in August 2019, before the start of the fall Football season.
“Since this was not addressed in the lead-up nor at the time of installation, and now almost six months later it’s an issue and the grieving families just get told 'to remove them.' The Freeport School Board should simply revise its policies appropriately moving forward and let these memorials stand, or in the alternative, to designate a suitable location on the school grounds and to work with the families and the many other families of distinguished Freeport Pretzel Alumni who want to recognize their lost loved ones with similar type memorials,” Stewart concluded.