Monday, March 25, 2019

Dick Spotswood: Memo to Dixie school board — It’s time to move on

Dick Spotswood: Memo to Dixie school board — It’s time to move on

March 23, 2019 at 10:00 am

Just get on with it. The Dixie School District board appears to have a majority that agrees with changing the district’s name. The board is befuddled about determining a new name to replace the 155-year-old Dixie label. The competency of all factions of the divided board to resolve this festering process is now the issue.

The board rejected two names proposed by name-change opponents including the insipid LOVE district (Live Oak Valley Elementary School District). Now the debate is over creating a lengthy process to determine the new name. Forget it. Just do it. Pick a local geographic feature such as Big Rock, Redwood, Terra Linda or simply North San Rafael. I’d suggest Las Gallinas — “the hen” in Spanish, as a tip to Marin’s history — but undoubtedly someone will claim that “Las” and the final “as” in “Gallinas” are sexist, so that’s out.

Whatever is chosen, don’t name the district after a person, because their history will inevitably include all sorts of unanticipated baggage. Who knows what Manuel T. Freitas might have written, said or voted when he was one of Marin County’s pioneers? Don’t select any name advanced by either name-change proponents or the We Are Dixie faction. That’ll just inflame the rhetoric.

Some board members appear to believe that an “inclusive’ new name selection process will somehow reassemble the divided North San Rafael community. It won’t. The wounds are deep and the memories bitter. This breach will be healed only by time and future school board elections. No one really cares what the new name is. Either folks want to keep “Dixie” or don’t. That’s it.

But for a lack of leadership this issue would have been resolved up-or-down months ago. Trustee Marnie Glickman, the pied piper of the “anything but Dixie” movement, doesn’t seem able to agree with her colleagues on anything other than the name change. The four other trustees don’t seem to understand that the sooner this ruinous fight is over, the better.

All delay does is energize the activists on both sides who live for these ideological fights. Continued jousting provides meaning to their lives despite the destructive result for everyone else.

Here’s the road map to promptly end the dispute: At the next scheduled school board meeting, vote to change the name and accept the Marin Community’s Foundation’s generous offer to pick up the tab for change-related costs. At the same meeting, trustees should vote for any non-controversial geographically-based new name.

Then it’s over. Students, parents and teachers can get back to real-world school concerns, the ruined reputation of the district can be rebuilt and activists can move on to their inevitable next cause. see full article HERE

EDITOR'S NOTE:Telling the Dixie School board to "get on with it" and change the name without the consent of the local voters may quiet the prayer row in Marin politics but it does not fundamentally address the injustice of smearing of the Dixie School community. This was their point wasn't it? To trash us in the national news media, to hold up signs against the "racism" of a 150 year old name? It gave Noah Griffin, a chance to don a white turtleneck (a photo op that made him look like a cleric) and lead a crowd to sing "We Sshall Overcome" . And if that wasn't enough the resident of wealthy Tiburon, held up a Confederate Flag in front of OUR historic schoolhouse, implying that the community is a "Confederacy Outpost". This is the ONLY time the Confederate flag has been held up in our community by all accounts. We ALL are against racism.
There has been a huge injustice done to my community in the name of "fighting racism". The Change the Name folks have created exactly the hostile racist politics we all abhor. In our case, the entire community has been "presumed racist" because they don't agree to the name change. To move ahead in this matter will require the leaders of the "Change the Name" movement to apologize to our community and engage in a community dialog.
I favor a name change but I cannot accept this smear of racism by the Change the Name people.

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