Hopkins High memorial page axes substance abuse event - KMSP-TV

Hopkins High memorial page axes substance abuse event

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The administrators of a Facebook page dedicated to memorials for Hopkins High School students are caught up in a social media squabble after taking down a post remembering a heroin overdose victim.

Critics say it was a insensitive move, but there is a disclaimer on the page that warns anyone who is trying to sell things, troll or vent would have their posts removed immediately. Yet, Steven Bergknoff claims his post did not break any of those rules. Now, the site's administrator says it was all a big misunderstanding.

"This site is intended to be interactive, healing, loving," Bergknoff said.

In life and even in death, Facebook is in important platform used to connect. The memorial page for Hopkins High School is more than 2,600 members strong, and for the past 6 years, it has helped students, teachers and alumni honor the classmates who have passed away.

"There's no other place for Hopkins High students to do that," Bergknoff explained. "This is the one site."

On Wednesday, Bergknoff posted a link to a substance abuse fundraiser in memory of his younger brother, Jesse Davidson -- a 2004 Hopkins grad who died from a heroin overdose.

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"It was a long, almost 5-year battle that he had to fight," Bergknoff said.

To his surprise, the site's administrator -- Richard Rexroth -- took down he link in the morning and sent him a message that read, "It's a lovely idea and a worthy cause, but it doesn't fit with the vision and direction of the page."

"I was hurt," Bergknoff admitted. "I thought it was a little disrespectful of him."

News of the squabble took off on social media. For the most part, nasty comments have been hurled at the site's three administrators while others brought in words of encouragement for Bergknoff. On Thursday night, Fox 9 News caught up with Rexroth, a 1984 Hopkins grad.

"It just said 'Jesse's Journey,'" Rexroth said. "It did not say anything about this is a former Hopkins alum."

In hindsight, Rexroth says he regrets any confusion and is urging Bergknoff to repost his brother's link. He now hopes to use the kerfuffle as a way to reassess their page policies in the future.

"I think there's a certain aspect of trying to protect people that are in your group from being bombarded with anything unrelated or unnecessary," Rexroth said, adding that he has "nothing but respect" for Bergknoff.

Both men say they just want to make sure their Hopkins classmates who have died will continue to be remembered. The memorial page is independent of the school and has not been endorsed by it, and it is also a closed page, which means you need to be approved before you can join.

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