A Wisconsin school board that was under fire for banning a tribute to a slain student at a football game has reversed its decision, according to Yahoo Lifestyle.
Following an uproar from students and parents, the Kenosha Unified School District (KUSD) announced Wednesday that it would allow a group of cheerleaders from Bradford High School to pay tribute to their slain classmate Kayla Juga at Friday's football game.
"Upon further consideration, Superintendent Dr. Sue Savaglio-Jarvis and Board President Dan Wade have decided to reverse the decision regarding memorials for Kaylie Juga," the school district's chief communication officer Tanya Ruder said in a statement. "Upcoming events will be allowed to occur as planned."
The board had generated controversy on Tuesday after it refused to support the cheerleaders' move to honor their friend, WITI reports. Juga was purportedly shot and killed by her 16-year-old ex-boyfriend Martice Fuller, who had allegedly stalked her for a while, on May 9.
In the wake of her death, Juga's friends had planned a memorial for her, the station notes. Several people, however, had also planned to show support for Fuller, WDJT reports. To avoid appearing as if it were taking sides, KUSD originally said it would not allow any memorial occur.
"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," it said in a statement. "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."
Following its decision, Kaylie's father, Nick, took to Facebook that same day to express his disapproval, claiming that the board had tried to silence his daughter's friends.
"My daughter was a straight A student, national honor society, and a varsity cheer leader," he wrote. "Her cheer girls were going to do a cheer for her on Friday, and use a picture of her on the field. KUSD is not allowing them to wear a shirt, do the stunt, or have her picture on the field. My daughter was the one murdered! And KUSD will not allow her friends and community a moment of silence, or a 5 minute cheer! Nothing she did was wrong! Everyone let the KUSD school board and Bradford know how the community feels!"
Amid the commotion, the board reversed course the next day.
"[Your] voices were heard!!" Kaylie's mother, Stephanie, wrote on Facebook. "Thank you and we love you all!!"