The Dixie School District board voted Tuesday night to change the name of the 150-year-old district after critics linked it to the Confederacy and slavery.
Trustees voted 3-1, with one abstention, to change both the name of the San Francisco Bay Area district and the name of its elementary school by Aug. 22, when classes resume.
However, the board didn’t choose a new name. A committee made up of parents, other community members and district staff will be set up to solicit and evaluate suggestions from the public.
The board rejected some 15 names in February when it voted against a name-change on grounds that more community input was needed.
The cost of the name change, such as replacing signs, was estimated at nearly $40,000, but the Marin Community Foundation pledged to cover it.
Dixie is a nickname for the southern U.S. states that formed the pro-slavery Confederacy in 1860, sparking the Civil War. The legacy of the Confederacy prompts political, legal and cultural conflicts to this day.
Those who support changing the name say the district was named Dixie by James Miller, the school founder, on a dare by Confederate sympathizers. Those who oppose the change say the school system was named for Mary Dixie, a Miwok Indian woman that Miller knew in the 1840s.
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