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Teacher Seeks Name Change For Roosevelt Middle School

Eugene 4J School District

A teacher is petitioningfor a name change to Eugene's Roosevelt Middle School when it moves into its new building which is currently under construction. The deadline to sign the petition is Friday (Oct. 16).

Jenoge Khatter teaches Algebra at Roosevelt Middle School.
He says there's a disparity between the people school district buildings are named after and those attending the schools.

Khatter: "50 percent are female and 30 percent are students of color. And our schools, there's 18 named after people and only one school, 6 percent, is named after a woman and only one is named after a person of color everybody else is a white male and that in and of itself wouldn’t be a problem except that that is not who these buildings are serving."

Some suggested names are after Maya Angelou, the late African American poet, or Malala Yousefzai, the youngest winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. 4J policy is that name changes are only considered by the school board if there is quote "credible evidence that the benefits of renaming or amending the name outweigh community and school district impacts."

The Middle School is named for the 26th President, Theodore Roosevelt.

Credit Karen Richards
Construction of a new Roosevelt Middle School is underway.

Link to Khatter's petition:

Rachael McDonald is KLCC’s host for All Things Considered on weekday afternoons. She also is the editor of the KLCC Extra, the daily digital newspaper. Rachael has a BA in English from the University of Oregon. She started out in public radio as a newsroom volunteer at KLCC in 2000.
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