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Remove Racist Monuments in Brea-Change Name of Fanning Academy of Science & Technology

This petition made change with 3,157 supporters!


William E. Fanning served as principal and superintendent of Brea’s schools from 1917 to 1942. In 1968, the Board of Education decided to name an elementary school after William E. Fanning in acknowledgement of his role in the formation and expansion of Brea’s schools. 

However, the legacy Fanning created is deeply rooted in racism and discrimination. Throughout the 1920's and 1930's Brea was a sundown town, meaning black people were not allowed in the city after dusk. During Fanning’s two decade career, there were no black teachers, employees, or students within the Brea school district. 

William E. Fanning is on a list of KKK members located at the Anaheim Heritage Center. Multiple oral histories describe Brea as an all-white city with few people of color, which is further supported by the strong historical presence of the KKK in Orange County.

“I can remember my folks talking about the KKK. I even went with my parents and some other neighbors to an assemblage of Ku-Klux Klan who were putting on a demonstration.” – Karl Fanning (son of William Fanning)

"There were no negroes in Brea, they were not allowed... I can remember when I was very, very small, there was a big rally held somewhere down in Fullerton or Anaheim, I believe it was Anaheim, in a big stadium... Nearly every man I knew joined the Ku-Klux Klan... A lot of people did. I know my husband did, my father did, and all of my friends, or a lot of them did..."  Alice J. Thompson - Resident of Brea since 1913, father was the first police officer in Brea, after having served the County.

“The Ku Klux Klan was strong in this town when I first came here. And I wouldn’t doubt they had an influence that no black people could be in town.” – Vincent Jaster (successor to Fanning as superintendent)

In January 2019 the BOUSD Board of Education voted to keep “Fanning” in the name, despite the presented evidence and public comments from community members expressing the pain inflicted by the name. The vote was 4-1, with Keri Kropke as the only board member voting “no” to the change to “Fanning Academy of Science and Technology”. It’s time the BOUSD Board of Education acknowledges Brea’s racist past and puts an end to allowing racists tributes within our city. The school must be renamed.

*Note: School Board meetings are remote due to Covid-19. Submit your comments to the board by emailing publiccomments@bousd.us and urge for the name change.

Contact info for the board members is located at: https://www.bousd.us/apps/pages/index.jsp?uREC_ID=1219957&type=d&pREC_ID=1430096

-Vivian L. Gray (Brea Olinda High 2020 Graduate)



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