The Dixie School District Votes to Keep Its Name

The Dixie School District in Marin County has voted to maintain its name for the time being despite pleas from community members who find it racially offensive.

On Tuesday night, the school board voted down 13 proposals for alternative names. Although they said they agreed with the move in principle, they felt the process was being rushed. This, despite the fact that activists have been clamoring for a name change since 1997.

As CalSchoolNews reported last month, much of the disagreement stems from a discrepancy in the historical record. Proponents of the change believe the name “Dixie” was a not-so-veiled ode to the Confederacy at the time the school was built. Those who wish to keep the name generally maintain that the school was named after Miwok tribe Native American Mary Dixie. One of her descendants spoke forcefully before the board Tuesday and said the change would “dishonor” all Miwok people.

The fight isn’t over. School board officials say they will revisit the issue yet again. In the meantime, Board President Brad Honsberger urged civility.

“The political world these days seems charged and disrespectful, including hateful comments and blaming others,” he said. “Dixie has the opportunity to demonstrate how discourse can be respectful, courteous and accepting.”