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Tempe Elementary School District will change school names tied to KKK members

By Vaughan Jones
Published: Saturday, May 14, 2022 - 9:59am
Updated: Saturday, May 14, 2022 - 1:52pm

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Late last year, staff from the Tempe History Museum linked prominent city residents to the Ku Klux Klan using records from the Arizona Historical Society and the Phoenix Public Library.

Now, the Tempe Elementary School District is accepting new name suggestions for three schools whose current names are tied to those residents.

The city decided in October that the names of parks, schools and streets would be changed, but acknowledged that the process could take several months.

Tempe Elementary School District office
Jean Clare Sarmiento/KJZZ
Tempe Elementary School District's office.

Now, Tempe Elementary School District is requesting name suggestions for Gililland Middle School, Hudson Elementary School and the Laird School.

The district says suggestions must relate to significant geographic locations, events of community significance, or individuals who have made contributions to the district.

Name suggestions are open until June 1, and the district’s board will vote on new names on June 22.

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