Archive for Sunday, August 27, 2017

Group suggests changing South Middle School’s name to reflect Native American heritage

South Middle School

South Middle School

August 27, 2017


District leaders are considering one parent’s proposal to rename South Middle School in efforts to better reflect Lawrence’s Native American heritage.

Julie Boyle, the district’s director of communications, said in an email that the schools’ Equity Advisory Council discussed the recommendation — there are several names in the running — earlier this week at the group’s first meeting of the school year.

Carole Cadue-Blackwood, who identifies herself in her letter as the “concerned parent” of a current South student, wrote to the district’s interim superintendent, Anna Stubblefield, earlier this summer with the request. That letter was shared earlier this week with the District Advisory Council, Stubblefield said, and as of Friday afternoon had just made its way to school board members.

South, the most racially diverse of the district’s four middle schools, has historically boasted one of highest populations of Native American students in the Lawrence district, Cadue-Blackwood wrote.

“A name change will enhance Lawrence’s public perception that it is diverse, progressive and an ideal city to raise a family and retire,” wrote Cadue-Blackwood, who identifies herself as a member of the Kickapoo tribe.

In her letter, Cadue-Blackwood suggested that South be named in honor of the school’s connection to nearby Haskell Indian Nations University. South, along with neighboring Broken Arrow Elementary and Broken Arrow Park, was built on land given to the city, county and school district by the Bureau of Indian Affairs through Haskell, then known as the Haskell Institute.

“A name change will greatly improve race relations and improve Lawrence’s image,” Cadue-Blackwood wrote. “It is with careful consideration that the name change reflects a notable person associated with Haskell in order to avoid any mascot issues.”

In her letter, Cadue-Blackwood said the name change would allow South to keep its cougar mascot.

The letter also includes the names of about 50 community members “who have given their express permission” to be listed as supporters of the renaming, which so far has generated several suggestions.

Those mentioned in Cadue-Blackwood’s letter include Haskell alumni such as Olympic gold medalists Jim Thorpe and Billy Mills, standout Haskell football player and coach John Levi, and Clarence Tinker, an Osage Indian who was the first American general killed in World War II. The late Henry Roe Cloud, a Haskell superintendent and official in the U.S. Office of Indian Affairs, was also among the suggestions.

Cadue-Blackwood and her group are open to other ideas as well, she said in her letter.

For now, interim superintendent Stubblefield said, the South name change is just that — an idea. However, she said district leaders will follow policies already in place that require the school board to consider and approve any name-change requests.

“The next thing that’ll happen is there will probably be a meeting at South Middle School just to discuss what the proposed names are, just to get feedback from a broader perspective,” Stubblefield told the Journal-World.

There are a couple steps between that meeting and bringing the request to school board members for discussion and approval, she added, but the first step is contacting South administration about the proposed change.

Though not all Equity Advisory Council members were present at last week’s meeting, Stubblefield said, those who were there voiced support of “moving forward” with the request within school board guidelines.

In her letter, Cadue-Blackwood pledged that fundraising efforts would be undertaken to "alleviate costs incurred" by the name change, if approved.

Lawrence has four middle schools, each with a direction in its name: South Middle School, Liberty Memorial Central Middle School, West Middle School and Southwest Middle School.


Brett McCabe 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Never a fan of directional school names so this might be a good direction to pursue. I'd like to see all of our schools with meaningful names.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Leave it alone, For God's sake!! Most everyone in town with school age children know where these schools are located and are familiar with them.

There is already an elementary school with a "native American" heritage.......Broken Arrow Elementary. And a college........Haskell.

What about Mexican heritage.....German heritage, Italian heritage, Canadian heritage, and many more.................?? What then?? My grand-parents were German.....maybe I ought to be offended..........!!

This is just asking for more problems and upheaval from those who are always looking for a reason to make a fuss over nothing.

There cannot be much conflict over having South, South West, West and Central...But I might be wrong........there is surely someone somewhere that has "problems" with "South".


Armen Kurdian 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Who peed in your corn flakes? I think it's a great idea.

John Kyle 9 months, 3 weeks ago

"This is just asking for more problems and upheaval from those who are always looking for a reason to make a fuss over nothing."

Hmmm. I wonder who that could be.

Bob Summers 9 months, 3 weeks ago

For the hyper emotionally sensitive people, how about naming the various government inculcation centers positive integers? 1. 2. 3. 4. 5 . etc etc.

This probably would not work because some of the emotionally sensitive would think the values of the integers is unfair for schools of lesser number values compared to integers of greater value.

How about naming the centers different types of weeds? Chickweed. Dead Nettle. Henbit. Knotweed. Or, Hairy Bittercress?

David Holroyd 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Fred what is wrong with ....Jim Thorpe Middle School? It ' not like the kids going there are going to a different school...they still go "south".

After all Haskell College isn't even named after a tribe or an indian...but a WHITE MAN...

I bet most people if asked on the street what tribe Haskell is they would name some tribe or ask where the Haskell tribe is located?

there a question for the Journal World.....but they probably wont ask and if the paper did the would pick a location near Haskell.

Go to KU and ask the question...see how bright the students are....

Ask : Where was the Haskell Tribe located and relocated to.

I dare you Chad!

Clara Westphal 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Haskell was responsible for the success of Haskell Indian University. That is why it is named after him.

Carol Bowen 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Haskell was responsible for the land so that the government could take children away from their families and put them in a boarding school. The children were forced to learn English and new customs. Forced assimilation. That's hardly a success story.

Because of the efforts of Indian people, Haskell gradually changed from a boarding school to a votec school to a junior college to a university. No thanks to the man called Haskell.

The name, Haskell, is a thread through generations. The school probably will not change it's name.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Ha, Ha!! I did not think my post would generate much response, I think the naming of local schools was a pretty insignificant issue.........Boy! was I wrong!!

I guess I just failed to recognize the attitudes of some members of this forum. I know what to expect from who, but this issue really blows my mind !!.

David.......maybe we ought to rename Haskell Avenue "Redskin Street"!! But I guess the football team might object ....ya think??

Geez....I have to find some other way to spend my time than in this silly forum.

Jeanette Kekahbah 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Seriously please educate yourself on that term

Jeanette Kekahbah 9 months, 3 weeks ago

That term is more than a derogatory ethnic slur and using it shows that even today people feel justified completely disregarding indigenous people.

Clara Westphal 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Liberty Memorial High School was renamed Central Junior High so people would know where it was located.

David Klamet 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Yes, let's do something symbolic, pat ourselves on the back and go home pretending we've done something of substance.

Clearly, we haven't spent enough time choosing appropriate names for our schools, yet another thing we need to improve. Perhaps we need for funding for choosing better school names.

Let's spend money on iPads instead of teacher salaries and watch as our educational system begins to catch up with the rest of the other first world countries.

Our priorities are all screwed up, but I'm happy to see we're moving in the right direction.

Brett McCabe 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Actually, symbolism can be pretty powerful. Ask people carrying confederate flags and swastikas.

David Klamet 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Absolutely. It can rally for a cause (good or bad) and motivate people to action, or simply distract from the really important things.

My point is the idea that the idea that "we must raise awareness about...." only contributes to the cacophony of voices calling for so many different causes that nothing gets attention.

David Holroyd 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Whatcha think of this: In the Heard Museum in Phoenix is a permanent exhibition of the boarding schools for the native americans...and there in the permanent display is a sign that says:

When one Indian boy or girl leaves this school with and education. the "indian Problem" will forever be solved for him and his children.

Chancellor Lippincott of University of Kansas at Haskell Dedication September 17, 1884

Jeanette Kekahbah 9 months, 3 weeks ago

There was no "indian problem" and boarding schools were not nice places. Assimilation and extermination are ugly things. Motto at haskell was "kill the indian, save the man." Children were beaten for speaking their languages, MANY died from diseases and sexual abuse was rampant.

Voices from Haskell: Indian Students Between Two Worlds, 1884-1928, Myriam Vučković - 2008

Haskell Institute: 19th Century Stories of Sacrifice and Survival, Theresa Milk - 2007

Carol Bowen 9 months, 3 weeks ago

How about "Seven Generations" or "Seventh Generation"?

David Holroyd 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Jeanettte Kekabah....who would have ever thought that the Chancellor of KU would have made a statement such as that I posted..And it is real,,it's right there in the Heard Museum.

About the naming of schools...I wonder since there is a Burroughs Trail and William Burroughs was not from Lawrence but a carpet bagger who arrived in town.. perhaps since Lawrence like revisionist history...

How about change the name of New York school to the:

William Burroughs Children's Academy

Jeanette Kekahbah 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Yes, it is real. Who would have thought Charles Robinson was a superintendent at Haskell?

Bob Smith 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Name it Crow Creek and educate the students on how North America wasn't a peaceful paradise until the Europeans arrived.

David Holroyd 9 months, 3 weeks ago

William Burroughs Childrens Learning Academy how fitting with the NO DRUGS signs...too!

Could we get the Mausoleum renamed and then maybe the roof will get replaced...

The city commission cannot fix the simple a roof!

What gives? The story was run some 5 months ago..surely enough time for a roof?

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