Dozens of Chicago public schools named after figures who owned or traded slaves plan to change their names, according to a report.
A review by the Chicago Sun-Times of every public school name in the city revealed the origins – and school officials are vowing to rename those considered objectionable.
“It’s dehumanizing, and it’s something that we have to work on and change,” CPS chief equity officer Maurice Swinney told the paper. “And we got to disrupt it, we got to stop it, we got to change it.”
The Sun-Times found that 427 of Chicago’s 652 public schools are named after historical individuals.
Of those, 56 percent are white, the paper reported.
Hispanic kids makeup the highest number of kids in the Chicago system at 46 percent — but only 5 percent of schools are named after Latinos, the outlet said.
Black children make up 36 percent of enrollment, while only 5 percent of schools are named after African-Americans.
City rules require community approval for any name change — and that proposed candidates must be deceased.
Swinney told the Sun-Times that officials hope that “that the name really represents a core set of values and beliefs that we know generationally won’t be questioned.”