Reporting Nick Janes
ROCKLIN (CBS13) – A high school football player was killed in a crash, now his friends are furious the school removed his memorial.
Friends and family want to know why the cross honoring Christian Daniels suddenly disappeared.
“Looked like they didn’t care for it, and ripped it right out of the ground,” said Nick Orlando.
The controversy centers on a cross. Friends claim they had permission to put it up at the football stadium in honor of Daniels.
But, the Rocklin School District took it down the day before the first game.
“Everyone’s still upset and in mourning, and you come and do this with such disrespect, and make up all these excuses, it’s terrible,” said Orlando.
It’s rumored the decision came after someone complained the cross represented religion on a public school campus.
“We had permission to put it up, so just because one parent doesn’t agree with it, it shouldn’t be taken down,” said friend Jacara Givhan, who has known Daniels for 10 years.
However, a district administrator says he isn’t aware of any complaint made.
He says they’re doing everything they can to honor Daniels, who died in a motorcycle crash months after graduation.
The team dedicated its season to him. They’re wearing patches on their helmets and his number, nine, is featured near an end zone.
But, many are still upset about the cross.
“Very disappointing, I think that most people in this community feel it should have stayed,” said Alisha Little.
So where is it now?
In an email obtained by CBS13, the superintendent tells one of Daniels’ family members, “given we have a home football game this evening, I had the cross moved to a safe location until the
Family is ready to retrieve it.”
“Now it’s with maintenance and we can’t get a hold of it. It didn’t go to the family. They did everything against what they promised,” said Orlando.
There are broken hearts over a fallen football star, and now the district is accused of breaking its promises to honor him.
Friends claim that the district promised it would put up a new memorial if and when the cross came down.
The district is now considering putting up a memorial honoring not only Daniels, but other Whitney High students who have passed away.