Naming committee holds meeting, hears public comments about possible Grady name change

The naming committee responsible for the process of potentially re-naming Henry W. Grady High School held a public meeting on Thursday, July 30, 2020, to hear from the public. Both those who approve of the name change and those who oppose it spoke at the meeting. Comments were heard from educators, parents, students, and alumni. Some of those who oppose a name change argued that Grady should not be judged by 21st century standards because he lived during a different time and that people should learn about history rather than erase it. Those who support a change advocated that Grady’s name did not reflect the values of the school or the community and forwarded recommendations for who to name the school after instead, including Congressman John Lewis who passed away on July 17, 2020. However, APS policy prevents changing the name to honor Lewis because there is another APS facility, John Lewis Invictus Academy, named after the Congressman. Additional recommendations included Ida B. Wells, Septima Clark, Dorothy Cotton, and other influential individuals. Some people proposed that Grady should not be renamed after a person in order to better represent the community and avoid conflicts in the future. The committee will continue to hold live forums and receive input from the public during this process.

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