Guilford County Schools considers renaming Aycock Middle School

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GREENSBORO, N.C. — The Guilford County Board of Education is considering renaming Aycock Middle School on Cypress Street in Greensboro.

It sits in the historic Aycock neighborhood. Both are named after Gov. Charles B. Aycock, who was governor of North Carolina from 1901-1905. He was known as the “Education Governor” because he promoted public schooling.

Several institutions statewide have recently decided to change buildings named after Aycock because of his association with white supremacy. Those include UNCG, Duke University and East Carolina University.

The GCS Naming of School Facilities Committee researched Aycock and found, “He was a man both revered for his contributions to public education in North Carolina and rebuffed as leading architect and a primary advocate of white supremacy.”

Aycock believed white and black people should be educated, but separately and differently.

Amos Quick, chairman of the committee, told FOX8, “We want to be inclusive. We don’t want the name of a building to be a stumbling block. That being said, there are other names we are looking at as well.”

He said Joyner Elementary is on their list to consider renaming for similar reasons.

Quick likes the idea of naming a school after Crispus Attucks, an African-American who was the first casualty of the Boston Massacre and is considered the first American to die in the Revolutionary War. He said others may propose names with a more local connection.

Herman Browning lives near Aycock Middle and disagrees with renaming Aycock buildings. “I think it should remain the same simply because Charles B. Aycock was a good educator. During his lifetime, that’s how things were. You can’t change history, of course.”

Aycock Middle School parent Robert Williams supports a potential change. “I feel the need for it because of what his name represents. You don’t want to mislead the community,” he explained.

We’ll have an update on what the Board of Education discusses at its meeting tonight on the FOX8 10:00 News.

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