I read, with great interest, the article about renaming John Witherspoon Middle School (JWMS) and the Letter to the Editor on the same subject submitted by Thomas H. Pyle (Princeton Packet, Sept. 4). There were plenty of good and valid points cited for both sides of the discussion.
I agree with both the decision to remove Witherspoon’s name from the building, and with Mr. Pyle’s suggestion that his story and place in history, along with the stories of many other historic figures, need to be studied and evaluated objectively. We should not be ignoring or erasing history. We should be examining and embracing it, especially in our school curriculum.
Indeed, I’ve been given to understand that a more accurate, inclusive social studies/history curriculum is already a work in progress.
As I have noted elsewhere, I also believe we should leave the names of people off of our school buildings. All of our elementary school buildings are, and were, given place names. Even Johnson Park School and Witherspoon Street School were named after a park and a street that happened to include a proper noun associated with a benefactor/honoree.
Since I believe that when one asks for a change, it’s incumbent upon that individual to make a suggestion regarding the replacement, I submit that JWMS should be renamed Princeton Junior High School.
And again, as I’ve asked elsewhere, when, and how, do we get to vote?
John Rounds, of Lawrenceville, attended Riverside, Community Park, Valley Road and Princeton High schools. He is a 1972 graduate of Princeton High School.