Controversy continues to plague the advisory committee to rename the Columbus School with arguments over the process dominating a June 1 meeting.
“My feeling is that the process is flawed,” said member Ron Giovino. “I did not feel any collaboration”, in reference to the allegations of his presentation on the late Jean Barry-Sutherland, once principal of the school and one of the three names chosen as final submission to the school committee, edited without his permission or contribution.
Other members, including Ken Mallon and Maria Rocha, replied that Giovino had stopped communicating.
The other two final names are Belinda Sutton, a female slave from Royall House, and Missituk, the Native American name for the Mystic River.
In a single committee vote on May 27, Sutton got 12 votes, Barry-Sutherland 7 and Missituk 2.
Melissa Miguel expressed her disappointment that Sutton was not among the top three names submitted by the community for review and, therefore, believes that the process divides the community instead of uniting it, one of the criteria for choosing a name. .
Among the 1,200 submissions from the community, 423 were for Jean Barry-Sutherland, 158 for aviator and former Medford resident Amelia Earhart, 146 for Krystle Campbell, victim of the Boston Marathon bombing, 88 for Sutton and 73 for Missituk. Others got less.
“There is something wrong here,” she said. “A name that no one wants is offered. “
These numbers are not included in the presentation that the name change committee will make to the school committee after objections, nor are the 18 names selected from the 89 deemed most worthy of consideration from the submissions of the community and member searches.
Arguments revolved around whether the information would be prejudicial or whether the choices of the name change committee represented a vote or a submission, but they voted.
Giovino and Miguel feel that the number of submissions should be included as a representative of the community regardless of terminology and excluding makes the community contribution irrelevant. They voted against, including the 18 names without numbers.
Matt Haberstroh argued that 18 names initially discussed should be included, but the numbers “make it look like there’s been a winner and a loser. The goal is not to bias the vote.
Another point of discussion was a proposal from Mallon stating that “the Columbus School Renaming Committee believes that there were many names on the list worthy of recognition in one way or another and that the best way to bring the community together is to incorporate these deserving names into the school. We suggest that the school committee consider honoring these worthy candidates by erecting an informative and educational plaque for each and the play structure, playgrounds, cafeterias / kitchens and classrooms bear the names of the others. best finalist candidates.
President James Lister ruled it out of order on the grounds that the idea was outside the purview of the name change committee.
“It has nothing to do with the scope of what we do,” he said, before telling Mallon to bring it to the school committee or city council.
Mallon argued that it was up to the members to decide whether it was out of order.
“As president, I decide,” Lister replied.
Plans to officially submit names on June 7 have been postponed to at least June 14 or 21 or longer because the name change committee is asking for an extension to deliberate.