The Andrew Jackson School in South Philadelphia will become the Fanny Jackson Coping School on July 1, ending several years of community efforts to remove the name of the former principal from the school.
Philadelphia Board of Education School District Unanimous vote on Thursday to rename A black woman spent decades teaching in the city after she got rid of slavery. School leaders and community members believe that Andrew Jackson’s controversial history is incompatible with the mission of the school or district.
“As an individual, the core part of Andrew Jackson’s legacy does not conform to or reflect the school district’s mission, vision, and core values,” the school district wrote in a statement. CBS3 report“His actions towards Native Americans led to the famous Road of Tears. His efforts to oppose the restriction or end of slavery are inconsistent with the region’s mission of’realizing the civil rights of every child’, especially for the majority of people of color. Kind of areas where students provide services.”
The name change started in 2018 800+ signatures In the school community.Work hard to gain momentum Another petition Last summer, in the national social justice movement triggered by the police killing of George Floyd.
The majority of the school community voted for Coppin to become the school’s new namesake on the grounds that she played the role of an outstanding educator in the community. KYW report.
Coppin was born in slavery, but her aunt bought her freedom at the age of 12. According to BlackPastShe studied at Oberlin College in Ohio, where she was the first black to be selected as a student teacher.
Coppin moved to Philadelphia in 1865 and worked as a teacher and principal The Colored Youth College on Ninth Street and Bainbridge Street until 1906. The school was later renamed Cheney University.
Kelly Espinosa, the principal of the Jackson School, said in a press release: “Fanny Jackson Coppin has devoted her life to education, doing everything she can to ensure people from underserved communities And women have access to high-quality education.” “She understands that education is the most important tool for building an active and productive life, and this message still applies today.”
Jackson, the seventh president of the United States, served from 1829 to 1837 and had no major ties to Philadelphia. Jackson profited from slavery and has a long history of abuse of blacks and indigenous people.
In 1830, Jackson signed the Indian Relocation Act, which allowed the federal government to exchange land held by Aboriginal people with other land located hundreds of miles further west. Although the law did not allow the government to coerce or force the indigenous people out of their land, Jackson did so.
The forced migration of the indigenous people and the dangerous journey westward is called A line of tears. Thousands of people died on the way.
Jackson was also one of nine presidents who profited from slave labor. White House Historical SocietyHistorians say that he punished enslaved blacks harshly and brutally, such as flogging.
Although the name of the school is being transferred from one Jackson to another, Espinosa told KYW that this is a “wonderful combination that makes a female individual who was once enslaved now become our school’s new name.”
She said that the school will also work hard to educate students about the purpose and importance of the school’s name change.
“In a sense, reminding students to change their names and why we do this will also become an important part of our rebranding,” Espinosa told KYW.
Located at 12th and Federal Streets, this school has been in the community for more than 95 years and teaches students in grades K-8.