Grady High students will vote for new school name this week

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ATLANTA (AP) — Students at Atlanta's Henry W. Grady High School, named for a 19th century newspaper editor who endorsed white supremacy, will get their say this week on a new name.

Grady High School students have been asked to rank three choices: Ida B. Wells High School, Midtown High School, or Piedmont High School.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that the Atlanta school board was ready to rename the school earlier this month before the process was halted to give students their say.

A committee appointed by the school board chairman recommended naming the school after Wells, a journalist and civil rights activist whose work exposed racism and lynching in the early 1900s. But critics said the committee disregarded earlier surveys that favored Midtown as the new name, The AJC reported.

The students have until Friday to submit their opinions. The board is expected to approve a new name on Dec. 7.

Grady, an editor and part-owner of The Atlanta Constitution, advocated for a “New South” after the Civil War, but he also campaigned against equality for freed slaves, saying “the supremacy of the white race of the South must be maintained forever.”

His name is featured prominently on high-profile Georgia institutions such as Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta and the University of Georgia’s journalism school. Biographies in Georgia often describe Grady with glowing praise, omitting his views about Black people.


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