The name of St. Paul Elementary was haphazardly changed. The people involved in the renaming of the school apparently did not take the historical aspect of the district into consideration. Those that were involved in the process either do not know the history or maybe know the history but just do not care about it. The schools in the Summerton area are intertwined in history.
Why would we name a school in the Summerton area in honor of a regular employee when we are one of the districts with the great honor of being the home to education pioneers? Even if she did an outstanding job as superintendent, she was paid to do her job just like the many other employees of the district. If a visitor drives through the area and does a quick google search of the name of the school they will learn about a former district employee. If the right thing was done, a visitor who did a quick google search of the name of the school would learn about the rich history of Briggs v. Elliot, which lead to Brown v. Board - the most important case in United States History -- especially for students who look like the majority of Clarendon School District One students.
This decision insults the pioneers such as Mr. Levi Pearson, Reverend Joseph A. DeLaine, Mr. Harry Briggs, Mrs. Viola Pearson, Mrs. Annie Gibson, and the one hundred plus signatories to the landmark case of Briggs v Elliott that changed public education in the United States. Our students barely know this history. It is barely honored in the area.
This was an opportunity to instill pride of a national magnitude in our students, to let them know they are receiving the education and walking the halls in the footsteps of trailblazers -- people who risked their lives, some who had to leave town for the safety of their families, those who stood up for the education of the people today in the face of extreme adversity and oppression -- and in doing so changed the course of a nation.
We, the 160 people and counting who disagree with this name change, should use a legitimate petition in the same peaceful manner to correct the mistake that was made.
My name is Joseph L. (Joe) Dingle and I am a SBHS graduate of the class of 1973.
Joseph L Dingle