Petition for a Peace Pole at Randall-Pepper Elementary dedicated to the O'Day Short Family
We the undersigned, peace-minded people of Fontana, and others from around the Inland Empire and beyond, are urging you to approve the permanent installation of a Peace Pole at the front of Randall-Pepper Elementary School in remembrance of the Short Family: husband and wife, O’Day and Helen; and their two children, Carol Ann and Barry.
Undisputed facts demonstrate that O'Day Short, an African-American man, was determined to make his family home at this site in Fontana and advocated for their right to live in peace with their neighbors in the face of documented opposition and threats made to them.
An explosion and resulting fire destroyed the home on December 16, 1945, with the family inside. Helen and the family’s two children Barry and Carol Ann, perished from their injuries almost immediately; O'Day succumbed to his injuries on January 22, 1946, after learning of his family's deaths.
Randall-Pepper elementary school was built five years later and has provided education to generations of Fontana students, striving for excellence with a commitment to maintain an exemplary educational program for all students.
We affirm that education is a cornerstone of peacebuilding and that the installation of a peace pole on the school campus will be a proper declaration of our community commitment to peace.
We affirm that O'Day Short stood up to racial injustice reflective of the times;
We affirm that O'Day Short was a courageous Fontana pioneer; and
We affirm that it is appropriate that O'Day, Helen, Barry and Carol-Ann be remembered and honored with a universal symbol of peace at the site of their home.
The proposed Peace Pole is an obelisk shaped, 7-foot-tall, 4-inch wide, white plastic shell. It has the prayer: "May Peace Prevail on Earth" in eight languages imprinted on its 4 sides with a dedication plaque inscribed with, “In Honor of the O’Day Short Family.”
Community members will work with local artists to design a pedestal that complements the exterior of the elementary school.
We propose to acquire the Peace Pole from the "World Peace Prayer Society", a non-religious, non-political, not-for-profit grassroots organization associated with the Department of Public Information at the United Nations and will raise funds for the purchase and installation of the peace pole to be installed at no cost to the Fontana Unified School District.
There are thousands of peace poles installed across the United States and 250,000 across the globe; the Fontana Unified School District and the community of Fontana will join in the call for world peace and in the celebration of those peacebuilders whose life stories continue to impact us today.
Today: Peacebuilders of Fontana, the Inland Empire and Beyond is counting on you
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