Activists Threaten Legal Action Over Medford School Name Change

Aug 03, 2020 1383

An Italian American advocacy group is slamming Medford's decision to change the name of Columbus Elementary School, going so far as to threaten legal action. The Italian American One Voice Coalition, which describes itself as an activist group combating discrimination and negative stereotyping, sent a letter to the mayor and City Council Thursday calling on them to overrule the School Committee vote or "run the risk of a lengthy and expensive legal battle."

The School Committee voted 6-1 in mid-June to rename the school by July 1, 2021. The plan is to form an advisory committee this fall to explore alternative names. But the IAOVC argues that Christopher Columbus is a protected symbol for Italian Americans, who under federal law "are a recognized and distinct ethnicity deserving of all the proper protections, including symbols connected to our heritage and culture," its letter states.

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