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Greenfield Union asks community for recommendations to rename Plantation Elementary

The Greenfield Union School District is taking the next step in renaming Plantation Elementary School. It's taking suggestions from the community for a new name.

Superintendent Ramón Hendrix wrote a letter addressed to the Greenfield community Friday morning announcing that the district had formed a committee that was ready to take recommendations.

"A committee of students, parents/guardians, school staff, community members, and other school stakeholders will review the recommendations and present the final selections to the Superintendent’s office for review and approval by the Board of Trustees," Hendrix wrote.

Recommendations will go before the board for an ultimate vote in January or February, according to Hendrix. 

In May, trustees passed a resolution noting that the school's name is a "reminder of social injustices" and that the district "recognizes the continuing impact of perceived symbols of intolerance."

There are a few criteria for submissions, as noted by the electronic form. Any names already used in the greater Bakersfield area for elementary or junior high schools, or the names of anyone still living, are off-limits. However, the names of those "individuals and entities that have made contributions to the community" will be welcome.

The name "shall be free from biases, prejudices, political or religious connotations." However, the name "shall take into consideration geographic location and local heritage."

Those who have ideas for names have two options for submitting them. There is a bilingual electronic form available here: https://bit.ly/2YAwxof. Alternatively, those with a submission may head to the district office and fill out a written form. Submissions are due by 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 15. For any questions about the naming process, call the district office at 661-837-6000.

Since the board made the decision to change the school's name, the district has a policy of phasing out the school's name, which includes not purchasing any more materials with the school's current name on them.

The district will also work with the city of Bakersfield to change the name of the street, Plantation Avenue, where the school stands.

You can reach Emma Gallegos at 661-395-7394. 

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