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Petitions to rename schools and buildings with rascist history across state

Dothan WTVY logo Dothan WTVY 6/8/2020 WSFA, WBRC, WAAF
a sign on the side of a building: (Source: WTVM, WSFA, WBRC, WAAF) © Provided by Dothan WTVY (Source: WTVM, WSFA, WBRC, WAAF)

Across Alabama, drives have started to rename schools and buildings tied to racist historical figures.

Petition circulating to change Montgomery school names

By Jordyn Elston | June 5, 2020 at 10:14 PM CDT

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - A petition to rename three Montgomery public schools has now gained a lot of traction.

The petition calls for name changes to Robert E. Lee High School, Sidney Lanier High School, and Jefferson Davis High School.

It’s been three days since the petition was posted online, and it’s already gathered over 18,000 signatures.

MPS board member Jannah Bailey said that students shouldn’t be faced with this reminder of the South’s past.

“Ninety-six percent of the children in Montgomery Public Schools are black and brown, and just the constant reminders of what that person, that school is named after stood for...it needs to be changed."

Montgomery Public Schools officials said that right now everything is under review by their legal team, but they are aware of the growing concerns within the community. I was able to speak to the city council member whose district includes Jefferson Davis High School.

“Over 17,000 people wanting to change the name and sometimes things have to change. I think a lot of it is attributed to having deep, meaningful conversation to start that healing process of reconciliation,” said Montgomery City Councilman Clay McInnis.

“When we have African-American children going into a school building that has the names like Robert E. Lee or Jefferson Davis, it’s a slap in their face,” said Angelia Picard, a supporter of the petition.

But, not everyone agrees.

“Monuments had been called ‘The democracy of the dead.’ Dead people don’t speak for themselves anymore, and when we put up monuments to dead people, we memorialize their life in their contribution, and we don’t measure whether that person did everything exactly right. Whether they had proper political beliefs now or at the time,” said lawyer Jay Hinton.

We reached out to several community members against changing the names of the schools, they did not respond to a request for comment. We have also reached out to the mayor’s office for a statement. They referred us to MPS.

Copyright 2020 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.

Petition started to rename UA buildings with racist history

By Ugochi Iloka | June 8, 2020 at 7:57 AM CDT

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBRC) - A petition to eliminate racial history on campuses of university in Alabama are gaining a lot of traction.

A petition in Tuscaloosa has more than 17,000 digital signatures to change the names of specific buildings.

Rename Buildings with a Racist History on the University of Alabama Campus is the name of the petition started by a student named Makenzi Dugan. The goal is to reach 25,000 signatures.

The petition states every year when freshmen step on campus, they pledge to uphold the Capstone Creed during their time on campus. However Dugan says it is incredibly hypocritical to have students promise to “promote equity and inclusion” when there are buildings such as Morgan Hall, Bibb Graves Hall, and Nott Hall on their campus named after KKK leaders and slave owners.

The UA Student Government Association also announced Sunday they support changing the names of these buildings and others like it.

WBRC reached out to the University of Alabama to see if they had anything to say about the petition but hasn’t heard back yet.

Copyright 2020 WBRC. All rights reserved.

Petition circulating to rename Auburn University building

By WSFA Staff | June 6, 2020 at 6:32 PM EDT

AUBURN, Ala. (WSFA) - The aftermath of the death of George Floyd has extended into different areas as many call into question the need for monuments they feel represents racism and hate.

Several Confederate monuments have been taken down around Alabama, and a petition to rename several schools in Montgomery has gained traction.

Auburn University is the latest to be caught up in the whirlwind. A petition to rename Auburn University’s Wallace Hall is circulating.

The petition has over 9,800 signatures as of Saturday afternoon with a goal of reaching 10,000 signatures.

The building on Auburn’s campus is named after former Alabama Governor George C. Wallace, a controversial figure who is known for making the statement, “Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever,” while delivering his inaugural address at the Alabama State Capitol in 1963.

WSFA has reached out to Auburn University and received the following response:

“The naming or renaming of buildings is a lengthy process that requires input from campus governance groups, approval by the Auburn Board of Trustees and review by a state agency. Renaming Wallace Hall is one of several actions recently recommended that will be addressed by a task force soon to be formed by President Gogue.”

According to the university’s website, the building was built in 1984 and is used by the Department of Industrial Design, Department of Vocational and Adult Education.

Copyright 2020 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.

Petition to rename building at UNA

By WAAF Staff | June 7, 2020 at 7:34 AM CDT

FLORENCE, Ala. (WAFF) - A petition to rename “Bibb Graves Hall" at the University of North Alabama is circulating around the state.

David Bibb Graves was a Grand Cyclops of the Montgomery Klavern of the Ku Klux Klan. Students want the building renamed to "Wendell Gunn” after the first African American student to attend the university.

The university put out a statement saying the name change must follow state law and that the decision process includes review by its student government association, faculty senate, staff senate and board of trustees.

Copyright 2020 WAFF. All rights reserved.

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