Report: 6 Montgomery County schools named after slave owners


BOE officials are reviewing the historic names and school naming policy

ROCKVILLE, Md. (WDVM) — A recent report shows a list of schools in Montgomery County are named after those who once owned slaves.

A Montgomery County historic committee found at least six schools in the county are named after slave owners. “That’s honestly crazy, to me, because of how diverse the school actually is. It doesn’t seem like there would be any type of correlation with the idea of Black students and a slave owner,” said student, Claudia Jones.

In February, Montgomery County Council President, Nancy Navarro, wrote a letter to the Board of Education, asking officials to rename E Brooke Lee Middle School because of Lee’s “deeply disturbing racist history.” The board is now reviewing that request, but school names are not the only concern. “Montgomery County was named after Richard Montgomery, which is also in that same boat. I think it’s better sooner than later,” said Student Member of Board, Nate Tinbite.

Some of the school names are Montgomery Blair, Francis Scott Key, Richard Montgomery and Thomas Wootton. The Board’s policy will allow them to review any request community members may have. There are several schools being named after slave owners and individuals with documented histories of racism. “Especially with the political climate that we’re in right now, we have to wrestle with these challenges that we had in the past,” Nate stated.

Currently, there is no word on if the board will review the names of all of the schools. More than 50 schools in the county are named after historical people, and – for the record – there are a total of 206 schools in the county, making it the largest district in the state and the 14th largest in the nation.  Poole, Magruder and Key actually owned slaves. Montgomery Blair was not a slave owner, but family owned slaves.

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