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Teens call for Grady High to be renamed | News

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Teens call for Grady High to be renamed

ATLANTA (WXIA) -- The newspaper staff at Atlanta’s Grady High School is calling for the removal of the school’s name.

The editorial in the latest issue of the Grady High School Southerner newspaper gets to the point in the first line: "Henry Woodfin Grady was a white supremacist."

The teen newspaper is calling for the removal of Grady's name with the headline: School needs more inclusive namesake.


"He (Grady) believed that the white race was superior to all others. I don't think in a community like ours that should be a name that we idolize," said Chloe Prendergast, a senior, one of four managing editors of the newspaper.

The seven member editorial staff of the award-winning newspaper chose to call for the removal of Grady's name because the issue contains several articles on race and socio-economic issues.

In addition, the editorial pointed out, "Last week the school board of Houston Independent School District in Texas voted to change the name of their former Henry W. Grady High School."

"We're surprised that this story has garnered so much attention given the fact that we have published a lot of stories tackling racial issue and other social issues," said Reilly Bloom, a managing editor and senior.

"There isn't a problem with Grady in and of itself, I'm very proud to go to this high school. It's the most diverse school in Atlanta and it's one of the most diverse schools in the country," said Prendergast.

They admit they article, which is currently in the online newspaper only, because the paper version is not back from the printer, has generated lots of negative comments.

"People do have legitimate arguments as to why you wouldn't want to change the name because of erasing history isn't necessarily productive," said Prendergast.

Fellow students are also have mixed reactions to a possible name change.

"I feel we should have a choice in making decision in changing the name," said Keyshawn Morehead, a senior.

The school district issued a statement about the newspaper editorial:

Atlanta Public Schools is proud of The Grady High School Southerner newspaper's long and storied history of encouraging community dialogue with thoughtful articles. As such, we respect its position on this issue. The process for any potential new name for Grady High School will adhere to the district's policy that calls for the school board chairperson to appoint a special committee to follow the required steps for changing the name of an APS facility, which includes community engagement.