Muscogee County School Board member delays proposal for new school's name

mrice@ledger-enquirer.comJuly 15, 2013 

The proposed name for the Muscogee County School District’s newest elementary school has been put on hold.

Muscogee County School Board member Athavia “A.J.” Senior of District 3 was prepared to recommend Samuel P. Charleston, the deceased educator and first black jury member in a Columbus federal trial, as the name for the building scheduled to open on Benning Drive in August 2014, when Cusseta Road and Muscogee elementary schools will close and merge. But after folks saw her recommendation Monday morning on the Ledger-Enquirer’s front page, she said, four phone calls prompted her to pull the agenda item.

Senior wouldn’t say who called but acknowledged one was another elected official.

“I like to be fair,” she said. “So if someone feels that I haven’t considered all possible names for the school, I can wait a while. I can pull back to satisfy the community.”

Board policy grants the right to propose a name for a new school to the board member representing the district where the school is built. The board still must vote to approve the name. Senior declined to disclose the other suggested names. The concern about Charleston wasn’t about the person but that he already is honored with a statue in Carver High’s lobby for being the school’s first principal, Senior said.

“I was excited about the name,” she said. “I polled about 25 or 30 people, and they were like, ‘Great, great.’ But once it got out further, other people asked me to consider other names.”

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