Peoria to remove name of 3rd US president from school – NBC Chicago


The Peoria Board of Education voted to remove the name of the third U.S. president from an elementary school in the city because of his legacy on human rights and slavery.

The board of directors voted Monday night to change the name of Thomas Jefferson Elementary School. No name has been proposed to replace it and no timeline has been set.

Vice-chairman Gregory Wilson pleaded for Thomas Jefferson’s removal because his character made the change necessary. Although Wilson did not discuss what he found in his research on Jefferson, he said he would state his case when the name change decision was made.

The board also decided to change the names of six other schools, including Charles Lindbergh Middle School, named after the pioneer aviator, and Calvin Coolidge Middle School, named after the 30th President of the United States.

Advocates of the name changes claim that historical figures have tainted a legacy based on their actions or views on human rights and equality that do not mesh well with modern thought.

The council could rename schools for prominent Peoria residents who were historically significant. In 2018, the board changed the name from Woodrow Wilson Primary School to Maude Saunders Primary School in honor of the city’s first black doctor. As the 28th president, Wilson imposed segregationist policies on federal government offices.


Kevin E. Boling