Renaming Schools: When The Right Decision Feels Toxic 

Renaming Schools: When The Right Decision Feels Toxic 


This morning a tip came across my desk about yet another school being hastily renamed, this time in Anne Arundel County, MD.  George Fox Middle School, located in Pasadena MD, has stood for 72 years. Its namesake, George Fox, served as superintendent of the district between 1916 and 1946. According to a release from the school, a decision was made on March 17th to rename the school due to concern about comments attributed to Fox during a 1939 court case. Fox, the records show, opposed equal pay for black and white teachers, even as other surrounding districts abandoned their policy of separate pay scales for black and white teachers. 

Concerns about Fox’s comments first surfaced in July of 2020 when community members first approached the board about a name change, at which time a panel was put in place to discuss the possibility. The district plans to hold a community vote on name options in mid-April. 

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