Thomas Jefferson Elementary 5th graders pick local trailblazer for new school name

Students at Thomas Jefferson Elementary in Maplewood have voted to change their school’s name to a local trailblazer.

News 12 Staff

Aug 22, 2022, 4:16 PM

Updated 671 days ago

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Students at Thomas Jefferson Elementary in Maplewood have voted to change their school’s name to a local trailblazer.  
The school will soon be named after the first African American student and graduate from the town’s high school. 
A group of fifth graders decided to change the school’s name from Jefferson, America’s 3rd president but also a known slave owner, to Delia Bolden Elementary.  
“Recognizing the history is a complicated history and trying to recognize that and address it in a good way. So I’m in favor of it and I feel like it’s a good thing for our town,” says Andrew Gordon.
Bolden graduated from Maplewood’s Columbia High School in 1912. She also wrote an essay that year discussing equal rights.  The group of fifth graders chose her out of five new names, including Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. 
As part of the name change, the school district will also consider how to memorialize the building's previous name of Jefferson Elementary School and the reasons for the name change on school grounds by June 30, 2023.


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