Georgia Will Not Rename Any Public Schools Tied to Slavery

In Summary

Despite its racial history, Georgia will not rename any public schools or universities.

Seventy-five of the University System of Georgia’s buildings and colleges will not be renamed due to their affiliation with slavery, segregation or mistreatment of American Indians.  

According to AP News, the system’s regents voted to avoid name changes for over a year after there was a committee made to investigate the issue. “History can teach us important lessons, lessons that if understood and applied make Georgia and its people stronger,” the regents said in a statement.  

As per Georgia’s law which passed in 2019, state and local agencies cannot rename any buildings named after a “historical entity.” Although there were regents who made statements following the vote, no one clarified why they chose not to rename.  

The committee proposed changing the name of three academic units, including the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Georgia, in which the name cited newspaper editor Henry W. Grady’s backing of white supremacy. 

A group called Rename Grady mentioned in a statement that the regents’ decision to not rename these buildings means the board supports racism.  

“The decision by Georgia’s Board of Regents to keep the names of known racists, segregationists and white supremacists of the state’s public colleges and universities is not surprising,” the group said. “It demonstrates to us the board’s support of racism and the upholding of white supremacy.”  

Atlanta’s school board has taken action and renamed schools that previously honored Grady, Gov. Joseph E. Brown and Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest, AP News reports.  

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