To the editor:
First and foremost, I personally thank each one of you for the outstanding work you’ve done for the Southern Berkshire Regional School District. As a taxpayer and a grandfather of six grandchildren attending schools in this district, I feel assured they are receiving one of the best educations possible, building a solid foundation for their and the country’s future. So again, thank you.
The matter at hand is simple: the renaming of Monument Valley Regional Middle School to that of W.E.B. Du Bois Regional Middle School. The current neutral name that references a geographical area, as all the schools are named, should remain aligned with the other schools of our district. I have no need to go into Dr. Du Bois’ place in American history, which is both inspiring and divisive. His history is replete in the civil rights movement as well his disdain for Great Barrington and America. Today it is evident everywhere you look of a divided nation. Renaming the school honoring Dr. Du Bois will and has only served to divide this community, especially in light of so many others in our history equally worthy of such an honor.
When the school was first named after a land area, I wondered why, with so many great and inspiring people of our area, they chose the names they did. However, in light of the present political atmosphere, I see the wisdom of this position, a position where, a hundred years from now, our school names will not conflict with any ideology associated with the education of our children or based on race, gender or political views.
I respectively ask you to consider the wisdom of the original, unbiased school name. I press you to not consider change based on misplaced pressures to be more politically inclusive. I feel the education of inclusiveness for our children is taught not in a naming of a building.
Michael T. Casey