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Anne Arundel County School Board Votes To Rename Middle School Honoring First Superintendent

PASADENA, Md. (WJZ) -- George Fox Middle School in Pasadena will be getting a new name after the Anne Arundel County Board of Education voted unanimously Wednesday to remove the former superintendent's name from the building over his support of segregationist policies.

Fox, Anne Arundel County Public Schools' first superintendent from 1916 to 1946, opposed paying Black and white teachers the same amount, even when they had similar credentials, prompting a lawsuit from the NAACP in 1939, according to a report a renaming committee compiled when deciding whether to rename the school. The school system was later ordered to remove race as a factor in compensation and equalize pay between Black and white teachers.

"Fox was a "product of his time" but "his time" also included school districts around Maryland and the country who were making strides to address racial inequities and Fox did not choose to advocate for the fair treatment of black and white teachers and students in an equitable manner," the report concluded.

A new name could be decided as soon as September, Principal Glenna Blessing wrote in a letter to parents Thursday.

"The renaming of our school is not the discrediting of our past. Instead, it offers for us the opportunity to focus on making a difference in our present work for all members of our school community. The time is here to shift our focus from the past to the present and onto the future," Blessing wrote.

The school has been named after Fox since it opened in 1949.

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