Monroe School Name Change Petition

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wrote on July 16, 2018 at 8:53 pm:
To: John.Brodrick@spps.org Cc: joe.gothard@spps.org Jul 7 at 2:44 PM Dear School Board Member John Brodrick, My name is Gary Thompson, a 1962 graduate from Monroe High School, and I am writing you to support keeping the name Monroe on our great school building. I attended Macalester College, graduated from the U. of M. in Sociology and Economics, served in the USAF during the Vietnam Era, then marched on Washington against the war, was a VISTA volunteer in Cleveland's inner city, and retired from the State of Minnesota, Dept of Employment and Economic Development. I also have been a life long Democrat and voted for you on the School Board. President James Monroe was the fifth president of the U.S., served in the Revolutionary War, was a U.S. Senator, Secretary of State, and a U.S. Ambassador to France. As a diplomat, he helped negotiate the Louisiana Purchase, which eventually led to Minnesota becoming a state. He created the Monroe Doctrine in 1823, which opposed European intervention in the independent countries of the Americas. During his presidency was the "Era of Good Feelings", which was a time of bipartisanship in U.S. politics. Yes, he was one of twelve presidents, who at one time owned slaves, but at that time it was legal and it was not changed until 1865, 34 years after Monroe died. He was courageous to be critical of slavery, as were many these presidents. The 12 presidents included Washington, Jefferson, Madison, and Jackson. Should we eradicate all of their names from schools named after them? Whitewashing history will not solve our problems in today's society. President Monroe's accomplishments should be taught in history as well as his short-comings, especially to Monroe school students. Many historians have concurred that He was a well above average president. I am very happy to say that I am a graduate of Monroe H.S. Sincerely, Gary Thompson