SAN RAFAEL (CBS SF / AP) — The Dixie School District in San Rafael has voted against changing its name that some have said is linked to the Confederacy and slavery but agreed to revisit the issue later.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports the five-member school board late Tuesday voted no on petitions for 13 possible new names after more than five hours of public testimony from both sides.
A majority of board members said they supported changing the name, but that the process seemed rushed and included too little community input.
The board said it will decide on the process for a name change at its next meeting.
The issue has pitted parents against each other in weeks of testy online exchanges.
Name change supporters say the 150-year-old school district was named on a dare by Confederate sympathizers.
Name change opponents say the 1,700-student district was named for a Miwok Indian woman, Mary Dixie.
The first major push to change the district’s name was in 1997. Another petition, which would have changed the name to Miller Creek Elementary School District, was voted down by the Board of Trustees in 2003.
According to the district, there are 1,974 students in total. California Department of Education data shows there are 36 African American students in the district.
© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.