Monroe School Name Change Petition

St. Paul School Board Presentations (6-19-18)

Good evening Mr. Chairman and board members.

My name is Patrick Fleury and I am an Alumni of Monroe High School, Class of 1966

Also, a full disclosure I am on the committee of a large group of people both alumni and community that want the name of Monroe School to remain.  We also have over 650 signatures on our petition.

Let me start off by first stating for the record that we as a whole do not condone the evil and repugnant practice of slavery that James Monroe was a part of nor are we the privileged old, white men that we were accused of being by an individual at one of our last meetings.  By the way, there are an equal number, if not more women in this group, which was organized by two female alumni.

For us this is not about any of that but about tradition, a sense of community involvement and pride. This is why the Monroe alumni and community have come together several times to save our school. 

The thousands of men and women that received an education and participated in life experiences that shaped them forever have never forgotten the name  Monroe no matter where they went in life.  We have alumni from all over the United States and several from overseas that have contacted us and are against this name change.

To those of us that have walked the halls or taught in the classrooms, the name Monroe brings a sense of something greater than ourselves.

But the name also instills a sense of paying back to the community that is, we feel, unique to the west 7th area.

The Monroe Men’s Breakfast Club – Bennett’s – Tuesday

125/200 The Monroe Alumni Lunch  Mancini’s  2x/year

The Monroe Women’s Group Bay Street Grill  1x/Month

And the West 7th Boys Club founded and organized by the Monroe Alumni Men and Women along with community citizens has been in existence for over 30 years.  They have Thursday night events and food that bring together as many as 300 to 400 youth of all ages and races.  They work closely with the St. Paul Police.

These groups pay back to this community in some form or another through charitable donations or their time.

But these are just a few of the countless other Monroe men and women alumni that have contributed time, money, insight and experience to the West 7th community.

The Monroe Green Wave is a family.  We are made up of a very diverse ethnicity that is forever intertwined in this community.  And no matter where we land in life, we are proud to call West 7th Street home

Mr. Chairman and Board Members

Thank you for your time.

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Honorable school board members and superintendent. Thank you for letting me speak on the Monroe Name change issue. My name is Al Hanzal, a 1960 graduate of Monroe High School. Four years ago, we moved from Eagan back into the West 7th Street community.

I realize that we live in a politically divisive climate. This has produced strong feelings on both sides of the name change issue.

It is my understanding that the Board has a policy of seeking community involvement regarding any name change. Despite what you may have heard, there has been no community wide meetings on this issue.

It would be easy to just accept a political correct solution that will create more divisiveness within the community. Or you can seek more creative community solutions through a public process that builds up the West 7th community for all involved.

I ask the School Board to follow your policy through public meetings that finds more creative options to the Monroe name change issue.

 

3 thoughts on “St. Paul School Board Presentations (6-19-18)

  1. Blake Davis

    First, I am not a Monroe alum. However, I have lived on the edge of the Monroe Community all 78 years of my life. Also, now I do volunteer work for the West 7th Community Center. Everyone I have known has had a very healthy respect for Monroe when it was a High School and they still do today. I feel it would be a terrible loss to the neighborhood to approve a name change. The name is very important to the school and to its rightful place in the neighborhood. Many times the direction of my daily walks is around the school. I am uplifted by the enthusiasm of the students coming or going to and from school or playing at recess or other times on the playground. Monroe is reputed to have had slaves which appears to be the reason for the name change. However, in his day this was very common and you can believe that President Monroe lived today, he reject slave ownership as we do today. I hope the name change for Monroe will be rejected.

  2. Pat Heroff

    My name is Pat (Krensing) Heroff, Class of1957. Monroe is synonymous with the West7th Community! Our roots go deep! The cohesiveness that exists in our Monroe School history is second to none, as has been observed and commented on by many from other schools, during social functions, golf tournaments, our Monroe Boys and Girls Club have had over the years, raising money for the less fortunate in our neighborhood, providing Christmas gifts for children, who would not have gifts on Christmas morning and food collections at the Mancinis semi annual Monroe gathering, which brings together 200 -250 Monroe Alumni, who are still rooted in West 77th, celebrating our Monroe Heritage!These are just a few reasons the name of our school should not change! Monroe is the fabric that has woven the history of West 7th! We don’t believe in slavery or condone what happened in our history, but we do value the changes that have taken place since! But the one change we are hoping to avoid is the changing of the name of our school! Monroe is not only the name of our school, it represents who we are! We are Monroe!! Please let us keep our identity! Thanks for reading!

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