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Haight Renaming Committee

Renaming Policy

AUSD's Administrative Regulation 7310 details the process by which district schools can be renamed.

 

Under the terms of the AR:

 

1) A petition requesting a new name must be presented to the principal.  

 

2) The principal convenes a committee. 

 

3) The committee does research on a proposed name. 

 

4) The committee conducts a survey of the school community.

The survey provides the choice between a new name and keeping the current name.

 

5) If the majority of respondents favor the proposed change, the committee submits the name to the Superintendent.

 

6) If the Superintendent approves the name, s/he presents it to the Board of Education.

 

7) The Board announces the proposed change.

 

8) The Board takes comments from the community from March 1 (at the latest) to April 15.

 

9) The Board votes on the change.

Introduction

In December 2017, the public learned that Henry Huntly Haight, after whom Haight Elementary School is named, held racist views.

 

Haight, who was governor of California from 1867 to 1871:

  • Opposed Congress's Reconstruction plan after the Civil War, saying the policy deprived southerners of their constitutional rights and would put white Americans "under the heel of negroes."
  • Spoke against allowing African-Americans, Native Americans, and Asians to vote, claiming suffrage would "end in the degradation of the white race and the speedy destruction of government."
  • Resisted allowing various races to live together in America, saying "… it is not the dictate of … sound policy, to locate together in one community races so radically dissimilar in the physical, mental, and moral constitution, as the Caucasian and African, or Mongolian. The attempt to mix these races is in contravention of natural laws.”

In response to the information, more than 100 parents signed a petition asking for a new name for the school. As mandated by AR 7310,  the principal then convened a "Renaming Committee" in the spring of 2018.  

 

Through the spring and summer, the committee generated ideas for engaging Haight families, students, staff, alumni, neighbors, and the broader community in the renaming process. Through September and October, committee members sought to raise community awareness of Governor Haight's views and the re-naming initiative, and also solicited names from the general community.  A primary election was held November 6, and a general election was held November 15. The resulting "candidate" name was Love Elementary School.

More details on the submission and elections process.

Essay Contest!

Over the last year, different adults have have debated whether or not Haight Elementary School should be renamed. But what do young people think? Should Haight School be renamed? Why or why not? 

 

To solicit more student voice on this topic, the Haight Renaming Committee is hosting an essay contest about a potential renaming in partnership with the Alameda Sun. The contest is open to all Alameda Unified School District students.

 

Essay Contest Details

Name Selection Process

Details on the criteria the committee chose for a name, the name submission process, and the voting process are all available.  

Details on Name Selection Process.

Legacy Plans

If the school is renamed, the committee feels strongly that it does not want to erase the history and legacy of “Haight Elementary School.” Instead, the committee plans to solicit and display memories and photos of the school, as well as put up plaques with a history of the school, including why it was renamed.

 

When that process begins, committee members will reach out to the community for suggestions and materials.