Pasadena, MD (Arundel.News & AAFA) - Updated 5/4/21. Keyboards all over the county went up in flames yesterday, following a seemingly mundane report by Arundel.News about a school name change. We reported on the announcement, made by Anne Arundel County Schools on 5/3, about the recent vote to rename the George Fox Middle School in Pasadena. Hundreds of comments and messages later, we received a message from Bob Mosier, spokesman for Anne Arundel County Public Schools saying that Northeast Middle may not become the new name after all. Mr. Mosier tells Arundel.News that the release distributed by AACPS:

"says that Northeast Middle School was the selection of the families in the communities and the staff at the school. The Board ultimately has the decision." 

When asked by Arundel.News why the Board of Education would vote against using the name selected by a vote of the community and the school staff, Mosier would only say, "The Board will make a final selection on a new name for the school."

In 2020, a committee was formed at the request of the Anne Arundel County Board Of Eduction, to consider whether the school's name should be updated. 

In March 2021, Arundel.News reported that the Board would be considering a new name for the school that would then be voted on.  Corine Frank, who represents District 3 on the Board of Education, moved to accept the recommendation of the committee comprised of community members, historians, and school staff:  

"I move to adopt the recommendation of the George Fox Middle school Historical renaming Evaluation Committee to change the name of George Fox Middle School to reflect the values of the community, understanding that the Pasadena community will recommend a new name for the Board to consider."

The vote to change the school's name, originated after the Historical Renaming Evaluation Committee suggested the name should be reconsidered. Members of George Fox Middle School Historical Renaming Evaluation Committee then presented a report to the Board with information about a controversial court case involving former superintendent Fox and equal wages for African American teachers. According to the historians, Fox was not in favor of equal pay for all teachers. 

According to a source who wished to remain anonymous a new suggestion made by a student at Northeast High School student is flooding the emails of each Board member. The suggestion is to rename the school after an African American woman named Sarah V. Jones. She served as the supervisor for Anne Arundel County Public Schools for over four decades from 1926 until 1964. 

Public testimony on the matter will be accepted until noon 5/4/21 by clicking here. The Anne Arundel County Board Of Education meets tomorrow 5/5 to vote on this matter. Read the original story below. 

 

Original story: The votes are in. Following months of epic keyboard warrior debates on social media, the local community voted for their favorite pick of name suggestions for the George Fox Middle School. Families and staff of the Northeast Cluster submitted their choices based on suggestions developed by a panel of community members. The first vote narrowed the original 104 name suggestions down to the top 11 titles. 795 families voted in the second round, with Northeast and Stoney Creek Middle receiving the most votes. 

According to a press release from Anne Arundel County Public Schools:

"Acting on a recommendation from a diverse committee of community members, parents, historians, and school system officials, the Board on March 17 unanimously voted to rename the school, which has borne the name of Anne Arundel County Public Schools’ first superintendent since it opened in 1949."

The release provided the following voting tallies from the second submission period that ended 4/30. 

  • Northeast Middle School (406)
  • Stoney Creek Middle School (130)
  • Green Haven Middle School (49)
  • Pasadena Middle School (48)
  • Fox Middle School (39)
  • Havenwood Middle School (38)
  • The Middle School (27)
  • Fox Den Middle School (22)
  • Two Rivers Middle School (16)
  • Malcolm X Middle School (10)
  • Sunset Middle School (10)

Read the full press release from AACPS below: 


FAMILIES, STAFF PICK

‘NORTHEAST MIDDLE SCHOOL’ AS

NEW NAME FOR GEORGE FOX

BUILDING

"A majority of families in the Northeast cluster and staff at George Fox Middle School have selected “Northeast Middle School” as the recommended name for the 72-year-old building in Pasadena that the Board of Education ordered be renamed in March.

In all, 406 of the 795 votes (51.1 percent) cast in the second round of voting went to Northeast Middle School. With 130 votes (16.4 percent), Stoney Creek Middle School was the second-highest vote-getter of the 11 candidates on the final ballot. Voting closed at 5 p.m. on Friday, April 30.

Vote totals from the second round of voting were as follows:

  • Northeast Middle School (406)
  • Stoney Creek Middle School (130)
  • Green Haven Middle School (49)
  • Pasadena Middle School (48)
  • Fox Middle School (39)
  • Havenwood Middle School (38)
  • The Middle School (27)
  • Fox Den Middle School (22)
  • Two Rivers Middle School (16)
  • Malcolm X Middle School (10)
  • Sunset Middle School (10)

The 11 finalists represented the top 10 vote-getters in a first round in which 104 names were on the ballot. None of those names garnered more than 50 percent of the 980 votes cast.

George Fox Middle School Principal Glenna Blessing will formally present the results to the Board of Education at its May 5, 2021, meeting. The Board will then make a final selection on a new name for the school.

Acting on a recommendation from a diverse committee of community members, parents, historians, and school system officials, the Board on March 17 unanimously voted to rename the school, which has borne the name of Anne Arundel County Public Schools’ first superintendent since it opened in 1949.

The vote came shortly after members of George Fox Middle School Historical Renaming Evaluation Committee delivered their report to the Board, which voted last July to form the panel following a discussion of comments attributed to Fox during a court case regarding equal pay for African-American teachers, something Fox opposed. Fox served as the superintendent from 1916 to 1946."

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