FORT BEND ISD (Covering Fort Bend News) – Fort Bend ISD is responding to an online article published in the Houston Chronicle, and FBISD officials claim activists falsely say that Fort Bend ISD has built over an area designated as a historic cemetery and where the remains of 95 individuals were discovered in early 2018.
Fort Bend ISD has not built over any portion of the historic cemetery and there are no plans to do so. The district eliminated a planned wing of the James Reese Career and Technical Center that would have encroached upon the cemetery area to preserve the historic cemetery.
The remains will be reinterred at the same site where they were found. As part of the ongoing negotiations with the county, the district also plans to dedicate 10 acres of land to the county for a future planned memorial park where members of the community can visit and pay tribute to the lives once forgotten from history.
“It has been nearly two years since the first remains were discovered, and we believe the time has come to put these individuals to rest. Discussions with the county have been ongoing throughout the summer, and both the FBISD Board of Trustees and County Commissioners Court have approved key terms of an interlocal agreement. It was during these discussions that the county suggested that the District reinter the remains prior to the conveyance of the cemetery to the county,” said FBISD Superintendent Charles Dupre. “Since Fort Bend ISD is now moving forward to reinter the remains prior to conveyance of the cemetery to the county, there is no longer a reason to give the county money. However, some outstanding legal issues have precluded a final agreement being reached. Fort Bend ISD is still hoping to convey the cemetery and 10 acres of land, at no cost to county taxpayers, for cemetery operations and future memorialization. And we look forward to continuing our conversations with the county soon, so that the county may publicly share plans they have developed for this important memorial park and education center. We remain committed to partnering with the county to educate students, our community and future generations about convict leasing and the Sugar Land 95. It is time to lay them to rest.”