- Letters to the Editor
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I empathize with those readers that have expressed misgiving about the renaming of East Middle School. ("School Board Renames East Middle School After Doty," 3/21/13)
However, what else can you expect from school board members who demonstrate the staggering arrogance to name school buildings after themselves?
In my K-12 career as a student in the Bellflower system, I attended two schools named after prominent Americans: Thomas Jefferson Elementary and Franklin Delano Roosevelt Junior High School, both of which the District had the good grace to wait until these larger-than-life individuals were deceased before so honoring them, something that Downey, even before it became a unified district, has been unable to do.
The first, most prominent instance was Ward Elementary, named for the Alameda Elementary School District superintendent three years prior to his retirement.
Then there is the serial monumentalization going on for DUSD superintendents: Gallegos having the DUSD headquarters named for him upon his retirement; Sussman having South Junior High School ditto, and now Doty.
Ladies and gentlemen, at least have the good grace, if not sense, to make awards to those who are deceased, and are beyond the ability to embarrass you for your choice. It is enough that they bask in their overly generous public-employee pension and benefits that very few of the parents sending children to those schools will ever enjoy but have to pay for.
When I first moved to the city in 1999, I, along with my brother and later on my sister, attended East Middle School. We grew up with the name ingrained in our daily conversations along with the pep rallies that would raise our school spirit in being an East Knight.
We are now going through the same dilemma that South Middle School went through. The year I started high school was the same year the South name change was implemented, further changing the history of our city.
Superintendent Wendy Doty was not someone that any of the students remember when I was there. I appreciate her service to this city in academia, but I do not believe she is deserving of having her name on a school just because she was doing her job. The six-figure compensation that taxpayers gave her, along with pension and healthcare, are more than enough.
None of the residents in the area were even aware of this name change until just recently. No one asked if it was OK to make this name change.
We are residents of this city who pay taxes and I find it insulting that someone who does not even live here gets to rename a school without considering the feelings of the residents.
I hope the school board reconsiders and compromises by awarding her something else instead of renaming a whole school.
Please sign the petition I have started on change.org so that I can present it to the board.
Published: April 4, 2013 - Volume 11 - Issue 51