The Board of Trustees of the Dixie School District on Tuesday evening voted 3-1-0 to change the name of the district many residents find racist.
The vote came at a special 6 p.m. meeting is at the district office in San Rafael. Trustees Marnie Glickman, Brooks Nguyen and Megan Hutchinson voted to change the name, board president Brad Honsberger voted no and vice president Alisa Chacko abstained.
Honsberger said he wants district voters to vote on a resolution regarding the name change next year:
“I refuse to be bullied, pressured or threatened into making a decision for our community. I want to make it with our community. Our community wants to be heard outside this media circus and hostile environment.”
Glickman, a strong advocate for the name change, said the board will now select a new name. The district has rejected 15 potential names so far this year. The name change will take effect Aug. 22.
The total cost of the name change is estimated at nearly $40,000, $12,000 of it to the Dixie Elementary School alone.
Proponents of the name change, “ChangeTheName,” say the word Dixie is associated with segregation, white supremacy and segregation dating back to the Civil War era.
Opponents of the name change, “We Are Dixie,” argue the district was named after Mary Dixie, a Miwok Indian woman who had ties to James Miller who built the first schoolhouse in San Rafael in 1849.
The Dixie School District was founded in 1864 and its three K-5 elementary schools and one grade 6-8 school serve the communities of Terra Linda, Marinwood, Lucas Valley and a portion of Contempo Marin.