Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Dixie board majority now favors changing district’s name

Dixie board majority now favors changing district’s name

More discussion needed on finding right name

By KERI BRENNER | | Marin Independent Journal
PUBLISHED: February 13, 2019 at 5:43 pm | UPDATED: February 13, 2019 at 6:23 pm

After a raucous debate and public hearing this week in the Dixie School District, one stunning new fact emerged quietly from the rubble of human interaction: a majority of the Dixie board of trustees now favors a name change.

“I think we made some progress,” district parent Bruce Anderson, a name change supporter, said after Tuesday night’s hearing, which drew more than 300 people to Miller Creek Middle School gymnasium in north San Rafael. “At least we’re not still talking about whether to change the name — we’re talking about choosing a new name.”

All 13 proposed new names were rejected by the board, which agreed to take up the process of name selection at a future board meeting. Neither board member Marnie Glickman, who was pushing for a vote in favor of Live Oak Valley Elementary School District — with the acronym LOVE — nor name change supporters were pleased by the board’s lack of action.

“Saying no to these names is saying yes to Dixie all over again,” Glickman said. “I think a lot of people in this room feel this way. I think a lot of people in the Bay Area feel this way, and I think a lot of people in the nation feel this way.”

Keri Brenner

Amos Brown, president of the San Francisco Chapter of the NAACP, was even more blunt.
“When you leave dishes in the sink, the pests collect,” he said to the Dixie board. Brown then led a loud rendition of the song, “We Shall Not Be Moved.”

Keri Brenner

Dixie meeting ends after 5 1/2 hours with no name change yet. All 13 names rejected but board to take up matter at a later date.
10:54 PM - Feb 12, 2019

During the board’s two-hour debate Tuesday that followed three hours of emotional public testimony, two newly elected board members — Megan Hutchinson and Brooks Nguyen — acknowledged they were both in favor of changing the name, although they were not quite ready to act on it at that moment.

Both board members had declined comment on the issue during the November election campaign and had made no public comment about their positions since taking office — until Tuesday.

“I also think the community needs to be a part of the process,” Hutchinson said. “I’m not quite sure how to reconcile all these feelings.”

Keri Brenner

Dixie trustee Megan Hutchinson.

Nguyen said she wanted to do more research on each name to be sure to get it right.

“I’ve only been in this post for 60 days,” she said. “I personally cannot (make) this decision based on the information I have now.”

In addition, board member Alissa Chacko, who for months had protested that the name change issue was thrust unawares on the community in August by Glickman and had unnecessarily sparked a vicious and angry divide in the community, on Tuesday acknowledged that she might be in favor of the name change if the proper community-wide engagement and board process could be realized.

Chacko and former board member Mark Schott had in December spearheaded a plan for a community-wide non-binding ballot measure in 2020 to gauge all public sentiment on the issue. See the full article HERE

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