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Louisiana High School Principal has trophies thrown in the dumpster, residents outraged - Kinder, LA 70648

News > School Related

50 or more Kinder High trophies found in the dumpster.
Posted by:
YouPostTheNews Media

Date Posted:
Sep. 15, 2014 2:47 PM

(YouPostTheNews) – When the residents of a small rural community found out the Principal at Kinder High school had thrown away around 50 trophies that were earned by former students throughout the years, they were livid.

Kinder, Louisiana residents took action after photos were posted on Facebook at around 6pm Thursday evening. The photos and chatter went viral in a matter of minutes. The photos were shared over 190 times and had well over 400 comments on many different walls.

Residents took action and went over to the school to retrieve the discarded mementos even with threats of trespassing tickets being issued. Among the discarded trophies was the 1996 State Runner up Baseball trophy. Kinder native Patrick LaFargue was one of the first ones to arrive.

LaFargue retrieved most of the trophies as other Kinder residents arrived. LaFargue handed the trophy to Kinder Junior Gavin Sonnier and told him to take the trophy home to his dad. Kelley Sonnier was the first baseman for the 1996 Kinder baseball team that earned that trophy.

Calls for answers on why would the administration just throw trophies in the trash instead of offering them to the residents or trying to auction them off to raise money for the program went out.

Deputy Principal Charlie Lemons said they did throw out some old participation awards but that all district championships and above where kept. However this was not the case. Even the 1976 State Championship Football trophy was found in the trash dumpster by a 2015 Senior. Kris Nelson found the prized trophy laying in the rubble of trophies and took it out. Nelson took the trophy to his house and repaired the damage

Kinder Principal Loma Bertrand explaining "It was a mistake."
that was caused by tossing it in the trash. Later he received a phone call after Kinder staff heard he had it and was told to return the trophy.

Some of the comments that day read, "Omg...ppl worked hard for those disrespectful to the students fought to win them!!!!"

"As hard as we worked for Kinder High they could have given them to the previous athletes. Makes me feel like they didn't appreciate the dedication to be the best!!"

"NONE of the trophies should have been thrown away! Someone would've gladly taken those trophies that were earned through hard work, blood, sweat, and tears! Shame on them!"

Others were wanting answers, "Who does things like that?." "It just goes to show the character of those involved in this disgraceful decision." "We need justice."

Other were angry and said, "That's is down right DISRESPECT for all Kinder High School athletes as well as the students and parents and the community who supported the school all those years. All the hard work, dedication, time put in not to mention the expense of the parents to end up in the dump. SHAME ON YOU ADULTS OF KINDER HIGH SCHOOL WHO DID THIS. Who's decision was this to throw all of this in the dumpster. There should be some place to store these wonderful memories. What do we as past students of KHS have to be proud of. Where is our bragging rights of how well we did while we where in school. This is a disgrace and a slap in the face to all former students. Dig those memories out of the dumpster and find a place to keep our accomplishments at KHS."

After word got out and School Board members were contacted for answers two of them responded. Allen Parish School Board President Carolyn Manuel responded, "What happened today at KHS was a mistake in judgment by several people. I strongly disagree with the disposing of any trophies earned in previous years by KHS students. Just this summer, I walked to the trophy case with my 6 yr. old grandson to show him the 1978 Football State Championship trophy. It is extra special to me because my brother, James Smith, was the center for the team that year. All of my family are KHS alumni and share in the pride and stories that go along with many of the trophies kept in the front of the school. So it stunned me to see them discarded as rubbish, when they are treasures of the past. Kinder is so proud of KHS and its recent State Football and Baseball titles and the athletes who worked so diligently to earn these awards. My hope is that we not take anything away from the years of blood, sweat, tears, pride, courage, and determination of these athletes by putting a black eye on the school they attend or attended. We are Number 1 because we pull together--not apart. I am not making excuses for what happened, but the mistake was made and will be corrected! "To err is human, to forgive divine."

Kinder High School Board Member Brett Fawcett said, "As a KHS graduate and former KHS football player I understand and feel the hurt and outrage that many are feeling tonight after seeing some of our proud KHS sports history thrown out today. I've discussed with Superintendent Doucet and some of the administration at KHS. All are very

concerned about the mistake that was made and are very remorseful. Steps are being taken right now to try to repair the damage that has been done to some of the trophies that have been returned and to the damage done to students and graduates of KHS and our entire community. As far as what happened, its sounds to me that there was some miscommunication regarding which trophies needed to be moved out to make room for our more recent trophies including the Championship trophies from last school year. The intentions were to move out trophies that were over 20 years and of less significance for example participation and third place tournament trophies (It was explained to me that this process has been done in the past). Instead some of our older championship trophies were also thrown out by mistake. It was reiterated to me that everyone who are currently involved with KHS are very proud of the schools accomplishments today and years gone by and would never intentionally take away the memorabilia displaying our proud history. As a KHS alumnus I have accepted their apology and believe that it is truly sincere and I believe the necessary steps will quickly be taken to repair the unnecessary damage done today."

People were still not happy with the messages posted by the School Board members. "There's no excuse that'll make any of this seem even a little bit right. The way it was handled was degrading to the athletes." one resident said. Another said, "Easy to crawfish out of it when you see what an uproar everyone is in."

The next morning one Kinder resident posted, "I was at KHS at 8:30 this morning. When I drove up there were four police cars. After opening the door I saw the local newspaper editor was there doing an interview. I proceeded to walk towards the trophy case to make sure the '67 State Championship trophy was still in the case. It was there safe and sound. While looking at the case a woman approached me and introduced herself, Loma Bertrand. I told her my name & conversation began. I asked why? She responded, mistake. I asked her how this was decided and did it come from higher up? Her response was, "I did this and I will take full responsibility for it." Not good enough!! We did end our conversation on good terms but my final question to her was "Where are you from?" She responded "Elton".

Residents responded "She now says "it's a mistake" but only because she got caught! Had this not been posted on Facebook they would have ended up at a garbage dump."

"I really don't understand what could have been going through her (Bertrand's) head when she decided it was a good idea to throw them like that. If she was the one that put all of her blood, sweat and tears into them I bet they wouldn't have been in the dumpster."

Ultimately all of the outrage has died down. Most of the trophies have been recovered due to the residents taking action. Some people are still calling for the resignation of those responsible. Others have forgiven and are asking the community to move on.

One thing is for sure, Kinder Pride has trumped an outrages act by the administration. When Kinder residents work together they can accomplish anything.


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