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Chicago’s Daniel Boone Elementary is the latest school to change its name due to a historically “egregious” figure. The Chicago Board of Education unanimously voted to change the name of the school.
With community feedback, the West Ridge school’s principal and the Local School Council chose the name Mosaic School of Fine Arts to replace the name Daniel Boone Elementary. The name change will take effect for next year’s school season.
The CPS equity office determined the Revolutionary War-era frontiersman was also a slave owner. Boone also had a hand in the colonization of Indigenous people. At one point in his life, Boone owned as many as seven slaves, according to History.
Changing the Name
The name change process started in January. A renaming advisory team hosted four community forums to help come up with new school name ideas. The three names ranked and recommended by the school were Mosaic, Haven, and Sarah Boone.
During Wednesday’s vote, Chicago Public Schools recommended renaming Daniel Boone Elementary with the community’s first choice. A spokesperson for CPS stated, “Chicago Public Schools is a welcoming district that works to create an inclusive and respectful school environment for every student. We continue to undertake the work to ensure that our school names are inclusive and represent CPS values.”
Back in February, Lakeview’s Agassiz Elementary changed its name to Harriet Tubman School. Louis Agassiz was one of America’s leading scientific racists. He was a huge supporter of efforts to rank and segregate people of different races. Agassiz propagated the unfounded theory that the different races were actually different species altogether, according to The Crimson. Fans of Agassiz would use his beliefs to defend slavery.
The CPS spokesperson stated that the new name, Mosaic School of Fine Arts, is meant to “better reflect their school community’s value on diversity, equity, and inclusion.”
Written by Sheena Robertson
Chicago Tribune: Chicago’s Daniel Boone Elementary will get a new name after school rejects slaveholder moniker
History: Daniel Boone
ABC 7 Chicago: Chicago Public Schools officially renames Lakeview school after Harriet Tubman
The Crimson: Louis Agassiz, Under a Microscope