District name change debate erupts at Shelby Co. Schools meeting - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

District name change debate erupts at Shelby Co. Schools meeting

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MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) - A possible name change for the unified Shelby County school district received the most debate during a meeting Monday night.

"Names are important, your name is important, children names are important, the name of the school district is important," said board member Patrice Robinson.

Robinson proposed a community dialogue to determine a new name for the district.

"And it sends a message to the community that we're unifying and asking for their input," said Robinson.

The board agreed to put the item on next week's agenda for further discussion. Although there was already plenty of discussion during the meeting.

"We have a lot of issues to address as a board and I think our focus should be on making sure we have a district that's ready for children as opposed to the name of the district," said board member David Pickler.

"And I don't think given the budget numbers that we're seeing that I would prefer to change the name of the school district and have to change legal items, logos, and everything else," said board member David Reaves.

Not surprisingly, former county board members who spoke appeared opposed to anything other than "Shelby County Schools." Diane George was the exception.

"And we are Shelby County, but Memphis does carry that weight of who we are," said George.

"Memphis City Schools is coming in with many more students and just to discount it as if it never existed is very hurtful," said board member Sara Lewis.

Beyond the school board debate, any name change would need to clear the county commission and state legislature as well.

In other news, proposals to slow down or delay the merger of Memphis and Shelby County Schools failed to get enough votes to be added to the agenda.

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