GRESHAM, Ore. (KOIN) — The Centennial School Board voted Wednesday night to remove “Lynch” from 2 elementary schools’ names due to some people finding the word offensive.
Lynch will be removed from Lynch Meadows and Lynch Wood Elementary while slightly altering the name of the 3rd school from Lynchview to Patrick Lynch in order to keep some history.
Parents, alumni and community members gathered Wednesday to debate over the name Lynch — and those in the audience were nearly split.
While some think the word is offensive, others said it has historical significance.
Originally, the name was associated with Patrick Lynch, who donated land in the early 1900s so that the first school in the area could be built.
Both sides agreed the word Lynch in Oregon has no documented attachment to the racist, heinous act and is simply tied to the local Lynch family name.
However, many argued the mere word had a negative impact on students of color in the school district.
School board chair Sharlene Giard said, “We have children of color and other cultures and we want to make sure that they are able to cross the threshold of those 3 schools and be comfortable in their surroundings.”
Some people opposed to the name change were disappointed by Wednesday’s decision.
Vicki Burnside said, “I’m just disheartened because where will it stop? Any any moment someone could be offended by any name. Do we keep changing the name of everything? That would be the question, right?”