The family of two siblings killed in a tragic accident in Franklin has questions after they say a school refused to allow a fundraising tribute on graduation day.
Eight-year-old Lexi and 7-year-old Sean Munroe were found dead in 2014, after the siblings became trapped in a hope chest. The family has given out a scholarship in their names every year since and recently came up with a new fundraising idea that involves pink lawn flamingos.
Anyone can pay to have the flock of flamingos pay a visit, and they stay for 48 hours. The money raised goes to the scholarship. However, the family says when it came to having the flamingos visit Davis Thayer Elementary on the day Sean Munroe would have graduated fifth-grade, the school told them no.
“They felt the kids would be traumatized,” the children’s aunt, Kristin Williams said. “I think they were afraid it would make the kids sad, but I don’t know, they don’t look sad to me.”
Instead, Williams said she was sad to learn the 38 graduation cap wearing flamingos, one to represent each child including Sean, could only be outside the school the day before the graduation ceremony. On Tuesday, the flock was gone.
"To have them not be a part of it, I just don’t understand that,” Williams said.
NBC10 Boston spoke with the superintendent and principal off camera Tuesday, but they did not wish to comment on the story.
Another parent said she, too, did not understand the decision to have the flamingos taken down.
“It’s upsetting,” Stacey Grimm said. “I would have let them stay, absolutely. We have to support each other.”
The family says the support will keep them going and the flamingos flocking to wherever they are welcome. They did attend Tuesday’s graduation and said they are thankful to the fifth-grade parents who presented them with a check for the scholarship fund after the ceremony.
Click here if you want to learn more about the fundraiser.