H.S. 1327/Drake Staff statement of the WHY behind the name change:
“We, the staff, would like to add our voices to the growing calls for the removal of Sir Francis Drake’s name from our place of learning. We acknowledge the racist and violent acts of Francis Drake, a slave trader, slave owner, and colonizer, and the legacy of white supremacy he represents. Honoring such a person is counter to the values held by our community and counter to the lessons and values we wish our students and colleagues to learn.
We recognize that a performative act of a simple name change is not enough. We recognize that for far too long, we have failed in our allyship to our colleagues, students, and communities of color. The lack of truth in American history has had a truly deep impact and helped foster separation (Racism) in the lives of our youth. We have failed our students in inclusive true history in our books and classrooms. It has left our students with a lack of respect for other races as vital contributors to this country and this gap has continued to widen. We have hidden behind the time consuming “business” of the school; the content, the curriculum, the lesson plans, the grading, and the housekeeping of teaching. In doing so, we lost our focus on the students themselves, who are at the center of teaching and education. Individually, collectively and institutionally we have neglected to consistently and emphatically address policies, systems, and behaviors that have led our students and colleagues to feel unsafe, unwelcome, and undervalued.
We also recognize that these same inequitable policies, systems, and behaviors have negatively impacted our LGBTQ+, English learners, and learning disabled communities. While our primary concern is anti-racist action, we believe that such action must and will support equity for all marginalized community members.
By supporting this action, we are not seeking to erase our history but to acknowledge the deep racist roots of that history. Our responsibility will then be to dedicate time and work to build a truly anti-racist school culture. We hope that our new name will emerge from this reflective journey.”
- Summer, 2020