While legal negotiations between Fort Bend County and Fort Bend ISD remain at a standstill, the school district is showing signs that it will begin the reinterment of the remains of 95 state prisoners without help from the county.
Fort Bend ISD approved an agreement with Missouri City Funeral Directors at Glen Park for services for the reinterment of the remains of the Sugar Land 95, discovered at an abandoned cemetery during construction of the James Reese Career and Technical Center in 2018. The district will pay a cost of $284,375 for the reinterment and has named Michael J. Brock as the funeral director who will coordinate the effort.
“The District believes Missouri City Funeral Directors at Glen Park, a locally-owned business, has the experience and capacity necessary to reinter the remains with the utmost dignity and respect,” the district’s Twitter account posted on Monday.
Fort Bend ISD has not announced when the reinterment will happen, but reports said that if a deal with Fort Bend County isn’t reached until early October, FBISD will begin the reinterment process.
This comes while negotiations between the county and FBISD to build a new cemetery and memorial park continue, but have hit a snag after FBISD announced that it would move forward with reinterment in late July.
Part of the negotiations included the district giving the county $1 million to help build the memorial park, but FBISD balked and decided to do the reinterment on its own.
Fort Bend County Judge KP George said earlier this month that he hopes both sides can reach a deal to give the Sugar Land 95 a proper reburial.
“The Sugar Land 95 brings to the surface a dark past of human rights violations and mass incarceration that many would rather forget. But we cannot turn away; it is our duty to honor and memorialize these individuals with care and dignity,” George said in a statement.
“To do so properly, we must seek the judiciary’s impartial and transparent opinion to guide our actions. I have tremendous respect for our courts, and we must allow them to provide oversight during this process. There is no room for error when it comes to the right side of history."