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Shadowbox for student not allowed inside school

By Samantha Anderson, Weekend Evening Anchor/Reporter, s.anderson@krdo.com
Published On: Nov 19 2012 03:03:24 PM CST
Updated On: Nov 20 2012 09:29:08 AM CST

The Woodland Park School Board voted against allowing a shadowbox for a high school student who was killed in a car crash this summer.

The Woodland Park School Board voted no on Wednesday to having a shadowbox hang inside the high school of former student Paul Kekich.

Kekich was killed in a car crash this summer along with two other students, Alex Ragan and Nick Naples.

A Denver high school baseball team donated the shadowbox with the intent it be put up in the high school to honor the life of Paul, said Cindy Ragan, mother of Alex.

Ragan said about 80 people showed up to the school board meeting and about 12 people gave public comment.

As soon as public comment ended, the acting school board president asked for the secretary, Carol Greenstreet, to read the board's response, said Ragan.

"We thought it was kind of odd that she would read the response immediately after we spoke. There was no break or anything. The response was several pages long and took 20 minutes to read," said Ragan.

Ragan said to her it meant the board wasn't really listening to the public.

"It made no difference what anybody said because they already had a response prepared before we got there," said Ragan.

The school board cited mental health issues as a reason for not allowing the shadowbox, according to Ragan.

"They said they have to be careful because students may kill themselves. They said students would possibly want the same amount of attention somebody is getting from the shadowbox and killing themselves would be the way to get the attention," she said.

A former Woodland Park High School student and friend of Kekich said he and other students wouldn't mind having the shadowbox hanging in the school.

"This wouldn't make me sad. This would make me say 'Wow, that's really cool.' It's not depressing, it's awesome," said Michael Hawkins.

Ragan believes there is a bigger issue than just the shadowbox.

"It's how the school board is operating. We didn't see any kind of vote and we didn't hear any kind of discussion," she said.

Ragan called the school district on Thursday to request a copy of the board's response. She said she was told the board has decided not to issue a statement because they want things to quiet down and let students get back to their normal activities.

"Well, to me that means go away," said Ragan.

KRDO Newschannel 13 requested a copy of the response read at the meeting, as well as comment from the board, but we have not received a call or email back.

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