<p>WHEREAS: Last year the <a href="../view_order_pdf2.php?motionID=22-258">School Committee decided to rename</a> the Vassal Lane Upper School to honor Black Cantabridgian(s) rather than someone who enslaved others; and</p> <p>WHEREAS: The Superintendent and Principal engaged the staff, students, and families at VLUS in a process to suggest potential names; and</p> <p>WHEREAS: <a href="https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1oFJA2CbX2yz0UO2s_mzZrbdWh9774GHJ/edit#slide=id.p5">Students shared their thoughts</a> about the qualities they wanted in an honoree, including someone who was a local leader, made a positive change, is a person of color, is inclusive, and humble; and</p> <p>WHEREAS: Students presented numerous possibilities for school names without a specific recommendation; and</p> <p>WHEREAS: Community members, particularly representatives from the Slave Legacy History Coalition and Cambridge Black History Project, reached out to the School Committee to suggest renaming the school after Darby Vassall; and</p> <p>WHEREAS: After securing his liberty from enslavement with the Vassall family, Darby Vassall went on to be a civil rights and educational justice leader, petitioning the state legislature for funding to educate Black children; and</p> <p>WHEREAS: Darby Vassall was outspoken about human rights his entire life, including as a six-year-old declining unpaid work for General George Washington and through his work founding the African Society and with the New England Anti-Slavery Society; and</p> <p>WHEREAS: Students and staff at VLUS have been offended by attending and working in a school with the enslaver’s name (Vassall); and</p> <p>WHEREAS: Roughly a century after Darby Vassall’s death, Dr. Carolyn L. Turk grew up close to Vassal Lane in Cambridge, in a predominantly Black neighborhood; and</p> <p>WHEREAS: Dr. Carolyn L. Turk was in the first cohort of Cambridge Public School students to be educated in the building that became the Tobin Montessori/Vassal Lane Upper School; and</p> <p>WHEREAS: Dr. Carolyn L. Turk went on to <a href="../../school_committee./admin/orders/C23-281.pdf">dedicate her career</a> to students in Cambridge Public Schools, including as a teacher and Vice Principal at the Tobin School, and ultimately Deputy Superintendent of the district; and</p> <p>WHEREAS: Cambridge has previously named schools after two civil rights leaders, namely Saundra Graham and Rosa Parks; now therefore be it</p> <p>RESOLVED: that the Vassal Lane Upper School be renamed the Darby Turk Upper School; and be it further</p> <p>RESOLVED: That students at the school will learn about the history behind their school’s name; and be it further</p> <p>RESOLVED: That formal copies of this resolution be prepared by the Executive Secretary to the School Committee to be presented to the Slave Legacy History Coalition and Dr. Carolyn L. Turk.  </p>

School Committee Actions

Action Action Date Reconsidered By Referred to Subcommitee
11/21/2023 Adopted

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