Board member Mary Brown cast the only dissenting vote as the board approved the motion made by Roosevelt Wright and seconded by Telfair Simpson, both representing the Lakewood District.
In the public comment discussion of the meeting only two stood to speak to the issue of naming the new school. Ruby Potter, who represented the C. E. Perry Alumni Association, requested the board reconsider naming the school.
“We, as the Alumni Association, have done many things to promote this school and would like for the name of the new school to have the same name as the old school,” she stressed.
Potter further stated that she felt that the community had been misled to think that the new school would carry the C.E. Perry name, which would be transferred from the current school site. “We respectfully request that the name remain the same at the Butler Island site.”
Calvin Johnson Jr. also spoke against the name change, stating that “his heart” was in the halls of C. E. Perry and that so was hundreds if not thousands of others who have attended the school. “I found a place where I belonged at C. E. Perry, and in that I am not alone,” he shared as he, too, requested the name be transferred to the new school.
Following a very brief discussion among board members, with Brown questioning remarks made by community members, board chairman G. H. Wilson asked if she wanted to amend Wright’s motion.
Brown said she did not wish to make any changes to the motion. Wilson called for the vote and members Faye Gay, Dewain Sinclair, Glenn Tart and Wilson voted with Simpson and Wright in support the name Roseboro Elementary School.
Following the meeting several of the members from the C. E. Perry community stated they felt the board did not listen to a word they said. However, in speaking with Simpson and Wright they both commented that they had talked with the citizens of the Roseboro community regarding the matter and most were in agreement with the name change.
“I came up with this idea to name the school Roseboro Elementary in the mind set that it was to be a school of the entire Roseboro community,” Wright said. “Naming the school Roseboro Elementary also brings the Lakewood district in line with other schools in the county. I understand that the C. E. Perry community wishes for the new school to carry on the name, but it will still be kept alive at the present site.”
Simpson concurred. “Since the story came out in The Sampson Independent last week, I have not heard anyone say anything against changing the name to Roseboro Elementary. In fact, I have had several to approach me saying they felt the name change would help the Roseboro community identify more closely with the new school and bring added unity to the Roseboro district as a whole.”
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