Farmington schools weigh ban on dead student memorials

In a perfect world — or even a slightly better one — high school kids wouldn’t die or be killed and school boards wouldn’t have to have the conversation the Farmington School District is about to have.

It’s trying to prevent school grounds from starting to look like a cemetery because of memorials to students who died.

Sun Newspapers reports the district is considering a policy that would ban permanent memorials to the dead students. That would eliminate, for example, the planting of a tree in a student’s memory.

“School is supposed to be a cheerful place — a place for learning,” Director of Educational Programs Barb Duffrin told the paper. She said the policy is being pushed by school counselors.

There’s also the problem of unequal treatment of dead students. Some students get the recognition; some don’t.

The policy being considered in Farmington stops short of one adopted in Lakeville, where memorials to students are removed a decade after the death.

  • MrE85

    They had to establish a policy at Regions Hospital regarding injured students hanging out their in large groups. Kids that age often feel the need to show their feelings with tangible acts — camping out in hospital lobbies, rallies of support, big gatherings and grand gestures. They are just trying to hang together, and make sense of it all. But we adults know that life does go on, and that include the daily business of education, too.

  • jon

    Having attend farmington high school many years ago, I’m glad to hear that the memorials to dead students is now the worst of their problems (well may second to the fact that they have dead students).

    Cause things on the education side of the house were pretty bad when I was there… back then most of the dead students were from single vehicle car crashes, perhaps an improved drivers ed course in Farmington would be a better use of their time…

  • PaulK

    When my young son died, the ECFE at Crossroads Elementary where he attended planted a tree in his honor. It was very touching and showed how much both he and our family were in their thoughts. I’d hate to see such a thing be banned.

  • Chris

    I have no stance on memorials, I’m not for or again them as I have no interest in
    trying to arbitrate the finer points of grief.
    I do however have an issue with a quote from this article. “School is supposed to be a cheerful place — a place for learning,” I thought a school was an institution of teaching with the implied expectation that learning will occur but a cheerful place?! I have no idea what that means.

  • bonnie

    I’d rather see a tree planted for every student who dies, it wouldn’t be that big of a deal and it would be fair to all.