Administrators in one Northampton County school district have laid down a marker regarding memorials on school property.
Wilson Area district Supt. Doug Wagner presented the first draft of the policy on such memorials to the school board Monday night.
"This is a policy we hope we'll never have to reference," said Wagner as he introduced the draft. "But we're trying to set the guidelines now in a dispassionate environment."
The superintendent outlined the guidelines: requests by individuals or groups wishing to honor a deceased member of the school community must be submitted in writing; each request will be handled on a case-by-case basis, and cost of upkeep of the memorial will be considered.
The proposed policy also suggests that instead of a physical memorial, a scholarship be established in memory of the deceased.
The draft policy says that if the board decides a memorial should be moved or removed for any reason, it would be offered to the family of the deceased before any change is made.
Wagner told WFMZ.com on Tuesday that the district began considering such a policy after a parent of a former middle-school student who had passed away some years ago raised a question about the memorial for the student at the former middle school.
Wagner said the tree and plaque honoring the student's memory was moved to a different location and site when the middle school was demolished to make way for the intermediate school nearby.
"It was then that we thought we should develop a policy governing this," Wagner said.
On Monday night, school board member Cindy Nester said she liked the draft policy and suggested that the idea of a scholarship in lieu of a physical memorial be prominently featured.