You came to this website because you heard a small number of people want to change the Monroe School name. It is true. Because the 5th President, of the United States, James Monroe, owned slaves, this small group wants the name changed. This may had become a reality. Except, a groups of Monroe Alumni rose up and said, “Wait a minute School Board, you are losing more than you are gaining with a name change.”
The Monroe and West 7th Street community has a rich and strong tradition in the city of St. Paul. The blue-collar community traces our roots back to immigrant groups from the Italians on the lower levee, to Germans, a vibrant Czech community, Irish and other nationalities. After World War II, with the baby-boomers, thousands graduated from Monroe and became part of the Monroe and West 7th Street tradition.
When the Monroe community was labeled by the government in the 70’s “Poverty Target A1”, the community responded by overcoming this environment. When the school board tried to close Monroe School in the 80’s, the community fought not only to keep the school, but also to make it a school of excellence that honors the Monroe name.
Over these many years, community volunteerism from such programs as the West 7th Street Boys club and the Monroe Annual Alumni meetings have sponsored programs and efforts to deal with those in most in need in the community. Few other communities in St. Paul can boast of such community involvement. These efforts continue today.
Some have tried to paint this as a racial question. It is not. Those of us who went to Monroe never really ever knew of James Monroe history. To us, it was always just “Monroe” our community school and its rich cultural tradition.
The Monroe Alumni are not just trying to preserve the past. We recognize the wonderful richness, the tradition, and the culture that is associated with the Monroe name. This thread woven through time and by tradition, forms a strong fabric into which the Monroe school is deeply meshed. For generations it has been the heart of our west-end community. We desire nothing more than to see that thread continue weaving and growing our community fabric. We openly welcome all new individuals, ideas and concepts to further that continued growth. Erasing history and tradition will do nothing to move the community forward.
We are asking the School Board to honor their own policy of public meetings regarding all name changes. Call the public meetings. Let the alumni work together with the current PTA to find creative solutions that honor a wonderful culture and address the changing demographics for a better Monroe community school.
If you agree with the Alumni position, sign the petition below to keep the Monroe Name. You can fill in your name and email address and your vote will be recorded and presented to the St. Paul School Board. There is also a Comment Page where you can add your own personal comments about the name change proposal. Add your voice to the many voices wanting the school board to hear our message.
Explore other parts of the website for resources, people’s comments and ideas, and the New Information in the fight to keep the Monroe name and tradition.
Petition Opposing Monroe School Name ChangeRead the petition