A New Jersey high school will remove President Woodrow Wilson from its name over complaints it perpetuates racism.
The Camden School District voted on the decision 18 months ago, but due to COVID-19 priorities, the process to pick a new name had been postponed until now.
Initially, a 100-members committee composed of parents and school officials had been chosen to complete the task, but the district informed that the process will start anew with a 10-person committee, NJ.com reported.
Woodrow, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, once governor of New Jersey and the 28th president of the United States, led the country into war to ‘make the world safe for democracy.’
However, upon reexamination of his legacy after 2020’s summer of racial unrest, he has been heavily criticized for promoting the Klu Klux Klan and Confederacy sentiments, and racially re-segregating the federal civil service.
The school has borne his name since its establishment, 90 years ago.
The Camden School District voted to change the name of Woodrow Wilson High School last year, but due to COVID-19 priorities, the process was postponed to October 26
Woodrow, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, once governor of New Jersey and the 28th president of the United States, has been heavily criticized for promoting the Klu Klux Klan and Confederacy sentiments, and racially re-segregating the federal civil service
High contenders to have the school named after them include former President Barack Obama (left), late civil rights activist and Representative John Lewis (right), and a superintendent who recently passed away
A Change.org petition started almost three years ago demanded the change, but it was not until the country found itself in a national debate on statues honoring Confederacy and racist figures, that the district decided to vote on the measure.
‘After years of examining the legacy of former US President Woodrow Wilson, we have come to see that his views and actions contradict the values and diversity we see in Woodrow Wilson High School today as well as the society we live in Camden NJ;’ the petition stated.
In a statement to NJ.com, the school said that they were proud and supported the upcoming change.
‘We are proud that our schools represent places of diversity and inclusion, and we plan to increase our efforts to reshape the identity of this venerable and cherished school,’ the statement said. ‘We plan to collaboratively work with current Wilson students, parents, alumni, and community leaders on an inclusive process to rename the school.’
Wilson’s name has also been removed from the public policy school at Princeton, where he was an alumni and university president.
‘We believe that Wilson’s racist thinking and policies make him an inappropriate namesake for a school whose scholars, students, and alumni must be firmly committed to combating the scourge of racism in all its forms,’ Princeton’s board of trustees said at the time.
In June 2020, Monmouth University also announced it would rename its Woodrow Wilson Hall.
Wilson is accused of issuing a plethora of racist policies that ultimately sought to reverse black American progress.
A Change.org petition started almost three years ago demanded the change, but it was not until the country found itself in a national debate on the effects of having institutions and statues honoring Confederacy and racist figures, that the district decided to vote on the measure
Wilson is accused of issuing a plethora of racist policies that ultimately seeked to reverse Black American progress. The former president wrote a five-volume history textbook, A History of The American People, praising the Confederacy, and called the Klu Klux Klan an ‘Invisible Empire of the South’
The former president wrote a five-volume history textbook, A History of The American People, which praised the Confederacy, and called the Klu Klux Klan an ‘Invisible Empire of the South.’
He campaigned as a progressive fighting to break big business to support America’s working class, but once in office pushed blacks out of government and changed pos- Civil War policies.
Jose Delgado, a former school board member of the Camden district, told NJ.com that it mattered to make the change for the sake of the students.
‘When we renamed Rafael Cordero Molina Elementary School in North Camden we landed on the name after narrowing it down from a long list and having the top five people voted on. Everyone from the janitor to the principal to the students got a say and it became educational for the kids,’ he said.
‘We could also see this as an opportunity to teach students about the election process,’ Delgado added.
According to a Forbes report, 20percent of US schools bearing the name of Confederate figures were in the process of getting rid of them as of July 2020.
Of the almost 300 schools named after Confederate figures last year, most were located in Georgia, Texas, Alabama and Florida.