Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Put away the shovels bearing the name Vang Pao Elementary

The Capital Times:
On Monday night, the Madison School Board voted unanimously to rename the school.

Meanwhile, former Gen. Vang Pao, 77, is in jail following his arrest two weeks ago in California for allegedly conspiring with 10 others to overthrow the communist government of Laos. Many in the Hmong community here continue to revere Vang Pao, who with his Hmong soldiers was a staunch ally of the United States during the Vietnam War.

Following the vote to rename the school, the board opted, 6-1, to go back to the drawing board and reopen the entire naming process. Details of that process, including likely amendments to the current board policy regarding school naming, will be announced after the board's July 9 meeting. ...

Winston said he favored a reconsideration of the three final names that had been in contention when the board chose Vang Pao. Those names recognized current Wisconsin Supreme Court Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson; the late Paul Olson, a Madison teacher, principal and school board member and Linden Park, the name of the development where the new school is located.

Another possibility that many of us would find appropriate and immensely meaningful is Jeff Erlanger.

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