FREEPORT, Ill (WIFR) -- UPDATE: The Freeport School District announces it will not remove the memorial stones honoring Kyle Tucker and Shaun Bradbury anytime soon.
Courtesy Sharie Hoster
Earlier this month, the school board voted to remove the memorial stones that are outside Freeport High School’s football stadium. The stones were installed to remember the legacy of Tucker and Bradbury, who were killed last year in a bar shooting.
The school board says it’s had discussions with the two men’s families and have reached an agreement to work together to come up with a way to honor both men in a way that is suitable for all.
The stones will remain in place until a solution is found.
The Freeport School Board announced it will remove two stone memorials from the football field. Now some community members are fighting for the stones to stay.
"We live in small town America, where the only thing bigger than football is our hearts," says Danielle Rogers, who started a petition Wednesday to keep Kyle Tucker and Shaun Bradbury's memorials up at the Freeport High School Stadium. "Sometimes the right thing isn't always what's on paper, sometimes it's what's in your heart, so I hope the school board reconsiders."
She says the two men were notable figures in the community, and deserve to be honored. "These guys were husbands and fathers and sons and little league coaches and church-goers, and this was a big deal it was a really, really tragic event."
Sharie Hoster, the mother of Kyle Tucker agrees. She says she cannot fathom how the board came to this decision. "It's a horrible, gut wrenching feeling to know they want to dig these up."
Thousands of signatures fill the petition just a few hours after it's posted. School Board Superintendent Anna Alvarado released a statement Wednesday, saying "The stones were installed without prior knowledge of the Board. It is our understanding that the person(s) contacted about acceptance and installation was not authorized to approve either acceptance or installation."
The statement goes on to say "The Board empathizes with the family and apologize for any additional hurt that this has caused."
Supporters of the memorial say they will keep signing the petition, and plan to show up to speak out at the next school board meeting February 4.