None in favor of renaming East Alton schools at public hearing
EAST ALTON – It is unknown at this time if schools in the East Alton School District will receive new names after a public hearing, but no one seemed in favor of it.
Outgoing East Alton Superintendent Virgil Moore, who will be retiring from the district this coming August, said new marquees would be added to Eastwood Elementary, East Alton Junior High School and Washington School soon. He said that marquee change would be an opportune time to rename the schools if the community or school district so desired. To ensure transparency on the matter, Moore said the East Alton Board of Education announced a public hearing regarding that name change in local media outlets.
At the public hearing Tuesday night, however, no one spoke in favor of the name change. A reporter working for Riverbender.com stated a citizen actually presented the board with a petition with 300 signatures against any sort of name change.
In previous interviews, Moore said he may like to see the schools renamed after East Alton Board of Education members who have served for decades and volunteered their time, but was quick to add he had no such authority in the renaming process.
Moore was not in his office for comment Wednesday, but a representative of the district said Moore's plan was to host an initial public hearing, followed by a second one – assuming people at the first public hearing had suggestions for a new name for the schools. That would then be brought to the school board for a vote for approval.
Without any suggestions for renaming, however, and instead facing community backlash against any sort of renaming process, it is not known at this time what the district will do next, or if a second public hearing will be held.
If the district wanted to change the names of the school, Moore said a public hearing would not be legally required, adding it would take a simple board vote to do it.
Reporter Cory Davenport can be reached via call or text at (618) 419-3046 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.