Drake Leadership Council members choose a new process for the name change, prioritizing community’s values


Fiona Swan

The names Cascade, Red hill, Creekside, Bon tempe, Baywood, Archie Williams, and San Anselmo as options for the renaming of HS 1327

On Thursday Apr. 22, the Drake Leadership Council (DLC) held a meeting to determine the future of the name change of High School 1327 (HS 1327). The council discussed a range of concerns such as pausing the name change or, if the community moves forward, how a new name change process might work.

Since the council decided to officially remove the name of Sir Francis Drake High School on Nov. 19, there have been many suggested names and processes. However, after the removal of Olema Trail from the final two names, leaving only Bon Tempe, the DLC now must stop and review the way they will choose the new name for HS 1327.

Several DLC members felt that the process of the name change strayed from the initial intention of making the students feel heard. They voiced that the hope of the name change was that it would represent the students’ core values.

Controversy arose when some council members wanted to take into account the voices of students to continue with the process, and others wanted to put the name change on hold altogether because they didn’t want to just get the name changedone.

HS 1327 student members Gabriella Acker and Kennedy Williams even suggested putting the name change on hold  to focus on a four point plan to enact concrete change within the school. The four points were Spanish translations, a hotline/referral platform, expressing student voices, and a survey to assess the feelings of students. 

The first idea, Spanish language translation, would provide translations for homework, posters, signs, and social media posts. The second idea was a hotline or outlet for students who need someone to talk to, or they need to inform someone of a problem free of repercussions. The third idea was to amplify student voices, allowing students, especially those part of the BIPOC community, to express their voice in HS 1327 News and anonymously put their stories out in the community. The final idea was a confidential survey asking students about their experiences at the school and compiling data to show information about students at HS 1327 and how they are being impacted in regards to treatment by students, staff, and teachers.

Still, the other DLC members decided that while this plan was a good idea, it wouldn’t make sense to pause the name change during the execution of it. Acker and Williams settled for the compromise of progressing with the name change while putting their plan into motion.

Next, the panelists needed to figure out a process for how the school name would be chosen. Some possibilities included having people choose their favorite names used throughout the voting process or have people list the pros and cons of each name. In the end, they chose to have the council choose three names, open it up to the community, and have people list pros and cons for each name.

Then there was the question of which names they would present. First, they needed to decide whether or not they would include names of people. There were strong advocates on both sides and the vote was quite close, but in the end it was decided that there could be human names if they were exceptionally vetted.

To choose the three names the DLC needed to look over the top names from the votes on the first seventy nine names. Following, they looked to see if schools were already named these names, if they had any hidden meaning, and if they would follow the community values.

They ultimately decided that they would research the names, Cascade (Creek or Falls), Red Hill, Creekside, Bon Tempe, Baywood, Archie Williams, and San Anselmo. They would choose the final three names at a later date.