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Grady High School renaming committee votes on new name; school board has final decision

The committee came into Tuesday’s meeting with a narrowed list of five potential names.

ATLANTA — The Renaming Committee met on Tuesday to discuss renaming Henry W. Grady High School in Atlanta, following the long-talked-about controversy over the original name.

“We are here for a real important reason,” said Leslie Grant, the committee's chair. "We want to make sure that we have a name for our buildings and our facilities that is representative of our values."

The committee was appointed back in early March by Atlanta Board of Education Chair Jason Esteves.

For years there have been rumblings and even a petition over changing the name. The school is named after Henry Grady.

Grady is well known in the Atlanta area. He was a journalist and editor who campaigned against equality for freed slaves.

"Grady, as a symbol, represented white supremacy and things like that,” mentioned Grady High School graduate and committee member, Jay Hammond.

RELATED: Grady High School alumni present petition opposing name change to school board

The committee came into Tuesday’s meeting with a narrowed list of five potential names:

  • Midtown
  • Piedmont
  • Freedom
  • Ida B. Wells
  • Thomas Adger

“I do think someone like Ida B. Wells, who is a national figure, is healthy for us,” stated Amir Farokhi, Atlanta City Councilman and committee member.

“I believe the students and the faculty also believe that the name 'Midtown' has a certain element of the values that they embrace,” Janet Kinard, also a committee member, said.

RELATED: With statue fight, Georgia State students make Atlanta confront Henry Grady's white supremacist beliefs

In a majority vote, the committee decided to go with Ida B. Wells.  The recommendation will now head to the school board for the final decision.

The renaming committee also discussed the Atlanta Board of Education’s desire to change the name of the nearby football stadium, Grady Stadium.

There has been no word on when that process could begin.