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Cleveland Metropolitan School District renaming schools after influential educators

Following policy new policy against names tied to racist, oppressive beliefs
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Posted at 5:42 PM, Sep 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-07 19:43:25-04

CLEVELAND — Over the next two weeks, Cleveland Metropolitan School District is renaming two of its schools to the Natividad Pagan International Newcomers Academy and Mary Church Terrell School.

On Wednesday afternoon, the ribbon was officially cut on the Natividad Pagan International Newcomers Academy, which was formerly named for former President Thomas Jefferson.

Mary Church Terrell School, formerly named after Louis Agassiz, a Swiss-born American biologist, will be celebrated for its new name at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 13.

CMSD School Board policy prohibits naming schools for the following:

  • Enslaving other humans
  • Actively participating in the institution of slavery
  • Systemic racism
  • The oppression of people of color, women, or minority groups
  • Those who have been a member of a supremacist organization

Natividad Pagan International Newcomers Academy is located at 3145 W. 46th St. It is now dedicated to a community leader and CMSD administrator who served as principal of the Newcomers Academy, a school for refugees and immigrants.

The school soon to be named Mary Church Terrell School is located at 3595 Bosworth Rd. It was originally named after Agassiz, and although his findings and processes related to Earth’s natural history earned him acclaim, his legacy has also been mired by his views on minorities, particularly Black people. Detractors point to the "scientific racism" prevalent in his work.

The rename will honor Terrell, an internationally known lecturer, educator and activist for racial equality and women’s rights.

On Wednesday afternoon, News 5’s DaLaun Dillard was live from Natividad Pagan International Newcomers Academy, giving details of the renaming celebrations.

News 5 reported on these name changes earlier this year - watch our report below:

School board approves name changes for 3 CSMD schools

RELATED: School board approves name changes for 3 CSMD schools

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