High School Senior Petitions to Rid School of ‘James Madison’ Name

Guess where this school’s located?

James Madison Memorial High School, located in Madison, Wisconsin, is named for America’s fourth president and the author of the Bill of Rights. However, a high school senior named Mya Berry began a petition to change the school’s name, because she believes it “contributes to a hostile school culture. She wrote:

James Madison, the 4th president of the United States was an owner of over 100 black slaves. The significance of this name in association with my school has a negative effect on memorials [sic] black students. The lack of representation I feel in this school makes me feel more than unsafe. I do not feel supported by the majority of staff at memorial [sic], especially considering the fact that I’ve gotten called n word multiple times, along with having an individual threaten me by telling me they [sic] would lynch me.

Note that the administration never heard of these complaints before this petition, according to The College Fix.  Berry continues:

In my classes when discussing race, I’m told my perspective is just an opinion, and not anything valid to take into consideration. My school has had dress up days such as pimps and hoes [sic], and the girls varsity soccer team had cornrows in their hair, as if my culture is some dress up day, and something to joke about.

So my thought to leave you with is: with all the injustice I and others face in James Madison Memorial High School, do you truly think it’s appropriate to glorify a man that enslaved my ancestors? With the education disparity between black and white students being a huge concern in the Madison Metropolitan School District, and if you truly care about black students, you would change the name of Memorial high school. Thank you.

Her petition, as of the time of this writing, has 1433 signatures, which is 67 signatures shy of her goal. When completed, the petition will be delivered to the Madison Metropolitan School District. According to The College Fix, “Principal Jay Affeldt said he was unaware of Ms. Berry’s complaints, but ‘is following up with her and other students.'”

This constant pressure to rid America of the remnants of our history is a disturbing trend. Educators — both in high school and college — should be able to deal with the complexities of history by teaching students honestly about the troubles and victories of our past. Regrettably, the school administrations all over the nation and bowing down to the demands of activists students. They’re changing the names of dorms, altering the names of holidays, and removing statues.

Pretty soon, we’re going to have lost all of our historical reminders. And when that happens, the student activists are still going to be miserable and will claim to have been victimized nonetheless. Let’s cut our losses and deal with the issue now, once and for all. 

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