Campaign to Rename Dixie School District to Be Addressed on September 4

September 5, 2018 Updated: September 5, 2018

A decades-long attempt to rename the Dixie School District in San Rafael will be revisited on September 4 at the monthly meeting of the school board, proponents of the rename attempt said.

Advocates of the change say the name is a reference to slavery that is out of touch with Marin County values. The campaign to change the name began in 1997 and the last vote on the name change was in 2003. The school board did not pass the proposed change.

Members of the Committee to Change the Name will address the board during the public comment period of the board’s meeting on September 4 at 380 Nova Albion Way in San Rafael. The meeting begins at 7 p.m. The subject is not on the formal agenda.

The move to change the name has similarities with current campaigns across the state and the country to remove Confederate monuments and memorials.

“The Confederacy does not need an outpost in Northern California,” said Marin resident Noah Griffin, who with fellow resident Kerry Pierson has championed the change since 1997. “We need to teach our children to have compassion for the pain of others, not to dismiss or trivialize it.”

Rather than suggesting an alternative name, Griffin said he would like the public to make suggestions, an approach one school board member said she agreed with.

“Dixie is a synonym for the Confederacy. Dixie does not reflect our community’s values. It’s time to change the name,” said Marnie Dixon, a school board member.

By Janis Mara.