Change the name of Andrew Jackson School in South Philadelphia

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Edit: After this petition gained traction, people began to circulate information about Fanny Jackson Coppin, who was born into slavery in Washington DC. Her freedom was purchased by her aunt who sent her to boarding school.

After her education, Fanny Jackson moved to Philadelphia where she accepted a teaching position at the Institute For Colored Youth, then
located on the 700 block of Lombard Street. The school was founded by the Society of Friends in 1837.

In 1869 after the departure of the long time principal, Fanny Jackson Coppin was named principal. Alongside her colleague Octavius V. Catto, they led the boys and girls schools respectively.

Fanny Jackson established the “Industrial Department” for students of color to learn trade work which was not taught to youth of color in Philadelphia before this. Classes included plaster, carpentry, shoemaking, printing, tailoring as well as dressmaking, typewriting, stenography, and cooking classes.

Fanny Jackson's own views on Elementary Education:  "MY DEEP interest centers in elementary education for several reasons; first, because it is at this period of the child's life that habits are formed and tastes cultivated which may guide him in the pursuit of knowledge and happiness in after life, and which by the alchemy of experience are to change the elements of what he has learned into wisdom for his highest happiness. All higher learning is but a combination of a few simple elements, and when these are well taught, it clears away the difficulty of future acquisitions, and nature can spread her beauty before eyes that can see and teach the marvelous precision of her laws, to ears that can hear. I call this opening the doors upward and outward, whereas a different way of instruction is like going out of a room backward."

It's time to change the name to increase civic pride and knowledge about Philadelphia's early education leaders.

Andrew Jackson has virtually no connection to Philadelphia, having only come to the city as a representative of Tennessee when Philadelphia was the nations capital. There is no reason to continue honoring the legacy of this man when there are Philadelphians who more greatly deserve the recognition. He was a slave owner, and led multiple campaigns to purge America of its native inhabitants, both as a military leader and as president. 

It's time to solicit community input and change the name.

A few reasons Jackson is an abhorrent choice to name a school for young children

In December 1817 Jackson lead a campaign in Georgia against the Seminole and Creek Indians. Jackson was charged with preventing Spanish Florida from becoming a refuge for runaway slaves, after Spain promised freedom to fugitive slaves.

In 1830, as president, Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act, which relocated most members of the Native American tribes in the South to Indian Territory. The relocation process dispossessed the Indians and resulted in widespread death and sickness.   

He vehemently opposed the rising trend of abolitionism. Jackson was a slave owner, using up to 300 slaves to harvest cotton on his plantation.

 



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