Rename, Rebuild - Tacoma Public School Petition
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In light of recent impactful social events and the essential call to end systematic racism, I call upon our community leaders; educators, politicians, and local community to take the following actions…
Renaming the following Tacoma Public School buildings;
Wilson High School (aka Woodrow Wilson High School).
The namesake is to honor the 28th president of the United States. Woodrow Wilson was a Southerner racist. Whether re-segregating federal office holdings, showing ‘Birth of a Nation’ at the White House, or noting his pre-presidency writings on Black Americans…it can firmly be said that W. Wilson was a true white nationalist and remains a prime example of systematic racism and unfit to be the namesake of a high school in our community.
Our children deserve MORE from us and action is required. Children should NOT be subjected to a building that holds the name of such a man lacking moral character
(Proposed Name Change: Mary White High: Mary White Ovington; a woman’s right suffragist and anti-slavery proponent co-founded the NAACP. Her circle of influencers were Ida B. Wells, W.E.B Du Bois, and Mary Talbert )
Truman Middle School (aka Harry Truman).
The namesake was to honor the 33rd President of the United States. Harry S. Truman was a Missouri native who’s tone and rhetoric towards Black Americans was vulgar even for its day. Not limiting his prejudices to just Blacks, he had great distain for the ‘china-man’ and despite U.S. intelligence during WW2 that stated Japan was about to surrender AND against the advice of U.S. Generals in the Pacific command, Truman ordered the drop of 2 Atomic bombs on Japan. Our children deserve more, we demand more. We can do better. (Proposed Name Change: Rebecca Howard Middle School: Mrs. Howard, a former slave, moved to the Washington Territory and opened a restaurant with her husband. Over the years, her reputation as a charitable person and business-woman brought locals and travelers alike to the Olympia area. Using her influence she made social change and giving to charities a priority. According to the 1870 tax holdings under the U.S. census, of the 221 tax payers who’s property wealth exceeded $50k (all white men) Howard was the only woman.
Franklin Elementary (aka Franklin Peirce)
The namesake was to honor the 14th President of the United States. Franklin Peirce is considered one of the worst presidents of all time. Franklin, a pro slavery leader not only backed the Kansas-Nebraska Act but also gave favor to the Fugitive Slave Act. His role in the American-Mexican war of 1846-48 and politicizing of said event to further his political ambitions sets to further alienate those families and students that are of Mexican/Latino heritage. (Proposed Name Change: G. Locke Elementary: Seattle native, 10th U.S. ambassador to China, served as the 21st governor of Washington State, serving in the Obama admin as secretary of commerce)
Tacoma Public Schools leads in so many ways and has done great work around social issues. However it's time to lead again by removing the names of buildings that lack the meanings they once had in order for us to move forward with new vigor and resolve.
Let us not react by tearing down, but instead rebuild with intention.
Join the momentum behind this movement by signing the petition today. Take concrete steps in creating change. You’ll be proud to say that you did.
(Note: The overarching goal of said petition is to put in motion the conversation and steps needed to make change. Naysayers will state that this move is just 'window dressing', to which we say change... regardless of how small is instrumental in tipping the scales of justice)
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