EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSSCHOOL NAME DEBATE
from Eyewitness News Online
Mary C. Snow's Name To Be Added To West Side Elementary School
Reported by: Leslie Rubin
Videographer: Jeremy Bias, Troy Morgan
Web Producer: Leslie Rubin
Reported: Jul. 19, 2012 10:12 PM EDT
Updated: Jul. 19, 2012 10:21 PM EDT
Charleston , Kanawha County , West Virginia
After months of heated debate, Mary C. Snow's name will be added to West Side Elementary School. Bringing cheers from supporters, but leaving others, including the president of the school board, standing their ground that the name should have stayed the same.
"The people do not want this," says Kanawha County school board president Pete Thaw.
"This is in the best interest of the children, the families and the community," says Rev. Matthew J. Watts.
Still drawing much different opinions, the name game has come to an end.
"The name would be Mary. C. Snow West Side School," says board member Robin Rector.
With Thaw being the only dissenting vote, the school is getting a new name. It will honor the first African-American principal in Kanawha County after schools were integrated, Mary C. Snow.
"It's a decision that I think was well worth what it was. The lady was a phenomenal lady," said supporter John Chase.
The board has previously voted against the name change, citing students were the ones to choose the name West Side Elementary School, but community groups formed protests, organized meetings, and lobbied the board to have a change of heart.
"When you have a small vocal minority who keep at something, they can accomplish something and it's sad," said Thaw.
"I think that this is a chance for us to move foward and work together with the community and the parents and the staff and the students," says principal Mellow Lee.
A hard fought battle, that's come to an end, with the face of a school changing in honor of a woman who made education her life.
"She'd probably say something like, 'I never in my wildest dreams thought that a poor little girl from the West Side of Charleston would have her name on a state of the art school,'" said Watts.
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