Thursday, September 6, 2018

Marin IJ on the Dixie School District name change.

Packed house weighs in on Dixie School District name change

First and second grade students play during recess at Dixie Elementary School in San Rafael in 2015. (Alan Dep/Marin Independent Journal)

By KERI BRENNER | | Marin Independent Journal
PUBLISHED: September 5, 2018 at 5:27 pm | UPDATED: September 6, 2018 at 5:03 am

As far-flung cities and states across the nation mull removal of Confederate flags, monuments and statues that some say celebrate racism, a mostly white Marin school district thousands of miles west has joined the fray due to its Civil War-era name: Dixie.

Some say a name that is linked with not only the South but also the Confederacy sends a confusing and racially charged message to students and adults who don’t understand why it exists in California. Others say it has been that way since a pioneer named John Miller named the tiny Dixie Elementary School building in 1864 and there is no reason to spend the time, effort and money to change it.

On Tuesday, more than 20 people aired passionate statements on both sides of the issue at a meeting of the district’s board of trustees.

“We’re a majority-white district, in a majority-white county,” Christopher Rieder, a music teacher in the Dixie School District, said Tuesday before the packed meeting at the district’s office in Terra Linda in north San Rafael. “If we can offer understanding on this issue, it would send a powerful message to our students and neighbors.

“When our sisters and brothers who are people of color talk about the harm done to them, we need to sit with that, and make a change,” he added. See article HERE

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