Jeffrey Schaub/KCBS Radio

Marin School District Can't Decide What To Do With Name 'That's Rooted In Hate'

KCBS Radio Morning News
February 13, 2019 - 9:28 am

SAN RAFAEL — It looks like it could be a while before the Dixie School District in San Rafael gets a new name.  

The debate over the Dixie School District's controversial name remains an unresolved argument between activists claiming that it harks back to a racist past and supporters who laud it as a tribute to a local woman. 

Hundreds of parents and students attended the school board meeting that lasted late into Tuesday night in San Rafael. The gathering was supposed to settle the squabble once and for all. 

"I have been in this district for eight years and loved being a part of this community. But by keeping the name of our community 'Dixie,' a word that's rooted in hate to African-American citizens, we are inviting hate into our inner circle," said one attendee. 

A majority of school board members expressed a willingness to change the name, with its apparent connections to the Confederacy and slavery, yet they failed to agree on which of 13 possible names could replace it. 

Without making a decision, the district of three elementary and one middle school will retain its current name. Supporters say that the 150-year-old district was named for Mary Dixie, a Miwok Indian woman. 

The board members chose to start a three-to-four month process that will solicit additional community input 

A specially schedule board meeting will be held on February 26 to organize how this name-changing process will unfold. 

Jeffrey Schaub contributed to this report.