A letter from the Maury Local School Advisory Team (LSAT) to the school community appears below – with a link to the survey itself. Maury is seeking input from alumni and the school’s neighbors and invites them to complete the survey. Maury website.
Dear Maury Community-
In 2018, our Maury family learned that our namesake, John Walker Maury, was, in fact, a slave owner. The LSAT has been tasked with leading our community through a community-wide discussion on the implications of this information.
In September and October of 2018, LSAT members held two listening sessions with parents, teachers, and community members. For those who could not attend, but wanted to be heard, LSAT members engaged with stakeholders via email and in person.
LSAT in October 2018 invited the Principal of Boone Elementary (formerly Orr), Dr. King- Jackson, to explain her school’s experience with learning its namesake to be a slave owner, and the process behind its community-wide decision to change to Boone. A key takeaway shared by Dr. King-Jackson was that her community was unified behind a new name from the start- Lawrence Boone was a beloved educator who served the community for over 20 years.
At a November 2018 PTA meeting, a representative from the DCPS Office of Family and Public Engagement (OFPE) spoke and outlined the steps a school should take if they are considering a name change. In follow up communication with OFPE, DCPS confirmed that our school could keep the name Maury, while disassociating with John Walker. This would require no further action by the school.
Finally, in December 2018 and January 2019, Maury LSAT members began formulating a survey for the greater Maury community. This step is in line with what OFPE outlined during the November 2018 PTA meeting.
Please see the attached link for the name change survey – which includes research and materials you might find helpful. In addition, the survey allows students from grades 2 through 5 to participate. While teachers will engage with students during class time, please use your best judgement while engaging with your own child.
The survey will remain open until March 31, 2019, so that everyone has a chance to be heard. Please note that your participation will remain confidential.
As always, please feel free to reach out to any of your LSAT members should you have any questions. As a community that centers itself on respect and empathy, all of us are grateful for, and mindful of, the patience and respectful communications to date. We are confident that, as a Maury family that loves our school community, we can and will continue this in the months to come.
Question: What if I want to keep “Maury” but disassociate from John Walker Maury?
Answer: If you want to keep “Maury” but otherwise disassociate from John Walker Maury, select “NO. It should remain Maury Elementary.” and then in the comments section below that, explain that you would like it to simply be “Maury”. For example: “I am in favor of keeping ‘Maury’ but not having any connection to John Walker Maury”.