November 11, 2006
Record-Courier staff writer
More than 100 Ravenna High School students left classes Friday morning for a 10-minute memorial in honor of a classmate who died Monday.
The students circled around the flag pole in front of the high school to read a poem and hear remembrances of Jesse Frazier, 18, who died Monday night following a shooting in Windham.
Students planned the outdoor memorial after high school Principal Michael Bradley denied their request for “30 seconds of silence” during the morning announcements, students said.
Bradley told them “there would be consequences if they disrupted the school day,” according to Superintendent Timothy Calfee.
After the 10-minute memorial outside, Bradley directed the students to the auditorium where, during a 20-minute lecture, he told them, “You made a decision to disrupt the school day but I’ve decided to not hold any consequences,” Calfee said.
Some of the students wore T-shirts with Frazier’s photo on the front and his name, a cross and dates of birth and death on the back.
Students said they’d heard they could be suspended for up to a week if they wore the shirts or attended the memorial.
Calfee said no students were suspended.
Bradley said he and another administrator watched the memorial. “It was very peaceful, solemn, very nice.”
In the auditorium, Bradley said he talked with the students about what had happened and about the choices they made.
“What I did say was that I admired them. They knew the choice (to leave the school) could lead to getting in trouble, but they felt strong enough that the young man deserved this memorial,” Bradley said. “I told them I admired they would do that.”
Earlier in the week, students had left notes and other memorials on Frazier’s locker, which were removed by the school administration. Some messages were written in ink on the locker.
Bradley said the posters were taken down because “some students were writing derogatory things on the locker. I felt it might promote ill feelings between different groups in the school.”
Instead, school staff provided poster board and markers to students to write comments that could be given to Frazier’s mother.
“Several students did some very nice things,” Bradley said