The Detroit Board of Education approved a process on Tuesday for looking for new names for schools in the city, including one named after U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson. The Benjamin Carson High School of Science and Medicine is one of the schools that may assigned another name, according to the Detroit Free Press; it was named for Carson before he joined President Donald Trump’s administration, and board members are seemingly in favor of a change.
Board member LaMar Lemmons said residents “don’t support the [Trump] administration,” and the school was named for Carson “when the district was under an emergency financial manager.”
Frederick Douglass Academy for Young Men and Detroit School of the Arts may also be renamed, with the latter possibly being named for the late Aretha Franklin.
Per the Free Press, “the policy allows the board to change names of existing schools under the following circumstances:
- To commemorate individuals who have made a significant contribution to the enhancement of education
- If a school facility is newly built or redesigned
- If the name of a school doesn’t reflect the current school population
- If the community of the geographic area where the school is located requests a name change that more closely aligns with the history of the locality
- If information newly discovered about the current name of the school is negative in nature.”
There is no guarantee that name changes will be approved because meetings and surveys must be conducted.
“I think there are probably other places where staff could be spending their time,” board member Sonya Mays told the Free Press.
“I don’t think it’s overwhelming to where we’ll lose focus of our core mission and work,” superintendent Nikolai Vitti told the site.
Carson, a Detroit native, is a neurosurgeon who ran for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination; Trump appointed him to his cabinet last year.