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Former East Middle School students have started an online petition to protest the school's renaming to Doty Middle School in honor of retiring DUSD superintendent Dr. Wendy Doty.
The petition's organizer, Sergio Vasquez, said he objects to the name change "because of the years of pride and tradition that East Middle has carried for decades. The name and mascot represent excellence and character that the students carry on when they go to high school and to higher education."
As of Monday morning, the petition had collected 106 signatures. Its goal is 10,000.
Click here to read the petition.
Doty began her local teaching career at East Middle School in 1976 before advancing to the district office and climbing the administration ranks. The Downey school board unanimously voted to rename East Middle School in Doty's honor.
The name change is expected to take effect this fall.
"Why would this district that is under so many budget cuts be changing a perfectly successful name of a school?" asked Melisa Erickson, an East Middle School alumni. "East is a school of many wonderful graduates for many years now...Think of all the money it will cost to change the mural, the sign out front, stamps with the East logo, etc."
The Downey school board has traditionally renamed schools or public buildings after its retired superintendents, including the Gallegos Administration Building after Dr. Manuel Gallegos and Sussman Middle School after Dr. Ed Sussman.