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Students succeed in push to rename their middle school

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Students succeed in push to rename their middle school
Ramsey Middle School to be renamed Justice Page Middle School
 
MINNEAPOLIS – What began as a history lesson evolved into a real-time civics experiment for students at Alexander Ramsey Middle School in Minneapolis. After researching the questionable past of their school’s namesake, students organized a campaign to rename their school to inspire and welcome all students. Tonight, the Minneapolis Board of Education backed their efforts with a vote to rename Alexander Ramsey Middle School as Justice Page Middle School.
 
“As students, we are often told we can change the world and we should try to change the world,” said eighth grader Olivia Bordon. “We are told our voice matters and we can do anything if we put our mind to it. The Rename Ramsey campaign did exactly that. A school should be named after someone students can look up to, a person students can be proud of, someone whose words and actions resonate with students, or someone who students can feel a connection to. Our new name reflects what we believe in at our school — integrity, inclusion and anti-racism.”
 
Students began the campaign in August 2016 by coming to the school’s open house wearing “Rename Ramsey” stickers. After, students began meeting during lunches to discuss, plan, research, write letters and strategize for the renaming campaign. They hosted community meetings and solicited feedback from students, families and community members. In addition, they raised more than $17,000 for the renaming.
 
Justice Page Principal Erin Rathke says she is very proud of her students and impressed by the way her staff supported them. “I am deeply inspired by their example,” she said. “Not only did these kids bring our school community together around an important cause, they did so in a respectful, productive way. From the beginning, this was about making their voices heard — and tonight shows the power of their work.”
 
Alan Page was the first African American justice in Minnesota and is a member of the Vikings Hall of Fame. With his wife Diane, Page runs the Page Education Foundation, which has provided more than $12 million in scholarships to more than 6,000 students since 1988. 
 
For more information on the Rename Ramsey campaign, visit http://renamerms.weebly.com/.
 
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