School name should be se­lected from first three sub­mis­sions, not later of­fer­ings

Maryland Independent - - Community Forum -

This let­ter was sent to mem­bers of the Charles County Board of Ed­u­ca­tion. A copy was sent to the Mary­land In­de­pen­dent.

I have no doubt that your job is very dif­fi­cult, which is why I am as­sum­ing you ap­pointed a nam­ing com­mit­tee to pro­vide rec­om­men­da­tions for the nam­ing of the new el­e­men­tary school. I am sure the nam­ing com­mit­tee was given pa­ram­e­ters with which to nar­row down the names sub­mit­ted. In fact, there was an en­tire process and dead­lines re­lated to the sub­mis- sion of names to the nam­ing com­mit­tee.

Ul­ti­mately, the com­mit­tee pro­vided the school board with three choices: Mar­garet Jamieson Thorn­ton, Ron­ald G. Cun­ning­ham and Charles Car­ring­ton. In the words of school board chair­man Michael Lu­cas in the March 1 edi­tion of the Mary­land In­de­pen­dent, “The three names sub­mit­ted were all very wor­thy.”

This leads to my con­fu­sion as to why three ad­di­tional names (ge­o­graph­i­cal) were asked to be sub­mit­ted. The de­ci­sion to ask for three ad­di­tional (ge­o­graph­i­cal) names, what­ever the in­tent, sug­gests that some­thing is wrong with the names sub­mit­ted or each name is so wor­thy none can be cho­sen.

We know it’s a hard de­ci­sion, but the school board makes hard de­ci­sions ev­ery day that im­pact our chil­dren. As a fam­ily mem­ber of one of the nom­i­nated names, I be­lieve it sends a wrong mes­sage to re­quest ad­di­tional ge­o­graph­i­cal names. If you wanted to con­sider ge­o­graph­i­cal names, that should have been made known at the be­gin­ning of the process, not af- ter the process was com­pleted.

To pos­si­bly name the new el­e­men­tary school af­ter a “road” or “devel­op­ment,” at this point, sends a mes­sage that a road or devel­op­ment de­serves more honor than a hu­man. Ad­di­tion­ally, should the road or devel­op­ment al­ready be named af­ter an in­di­vid­ual, then hasn’t that in­di­vid­ual al­ready been hon­ored? Could nam­ing the school af­ter a ge­o­graph­i­cal lo­ca­tion be a bit of po­lit­i­cal cor­rect­ness? Does the school board have a slight con­cern of of­fend­ing a fam­ily?

I think all three fam­i­lies rep­re­sented are ma­ture enough to honor the de­ci­sion by the board. While each fam­ily has pe­ti­tioned for their loved one’s name to be used, we all re­spect the process. To add three new names at this point is an in­sult to what has al­ready been done. We know it’s a hard job nam­ing the new el­e­men­tary school, es­pe­cially given the names pre­sented; but, I im­plore you to honor your own process and se­lect from the three orig­i­nal names. Tanja J. Carter, In­dian Head

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