Detroit's Cass Tech High School will keep slave owner's name

July 01, 2020, 9:57 AM

Lewis Cass was a slave owner. A lot of things in Michigan, and particularly in his hometown of Detroit, are named for him. But as Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced that she would have the former U.S. Secretary of State's name scrubbed from a state office building, the Detroit public school district said one of its most prestigious high schools would remain Cass.

That's because the name has a positive connotation for Cass Tech grads, the district says. Here's its full statement to WXYZ:

About two years ago when the School Board and Superintendent discussed school name changes the School Board was not interested in considering a name change for Cass Tech High School. Since that time the School Board created and passed a school name change policy and it has not been used by stakeholders to initiate a name change for Cass Tech High School.

At the time of the discussion, the overwhelming sense among the School Board was that despite the negative history of the school’s namesake generations of Cass Tech alumni have developed a different history associated with the “Cass Tech” name and have strong feelings against changing the name, including Board Member Vaughn who is an alumnus of the school.

Read more:  WXYZ

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