BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — The Greenfield Union School District is in discussions to change the name of Plantation Elementary School.
The NAACP told 23ABC's Lezla Gooden that they have expressed their concern over the school's name and the term "plantation's" past history. The NAACP Chapter of Bakersfield has been urging the school district to change the name "for more than 20 years."
Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines "plantation" as "a usually large group of plants and especially trees under cultivation" or "place that is planted or under cultivation, an agricultural estate usually worked by resident labor." However, the term "plantation" is often associated with slavery.
In a statement released to 23ABC, Assistant Superintendent Luke Hogue said: "The Greenfield Union School District respects the culture, history, and viewpoints of all students, staff, parents, and the community we serve. Prior to the COVID pandemic, the district began discussions regarding the renaming of Plantation School. As a result of the pandemic and its impact on our students and community, all district resources and focus were shifted to address the immediate needs of our students. The district remains committed to addressing the community and district concerns regarding the name of Plantation School; however, currently, the primary focus remains on returning all students safely to our campuses."
Hogue goes on to say that the school district intends to resume the discussion for renaming the school and will "solicit community input and ensure appropriate public hearings are held."
Plantation Elementary School is located in Southeast Bakersfield and has over 600 students in K-5 grades.