An internet petition drive aimed at changing the name of a Long Beach high school from Woodrow Wilson is gaining support, it was reported Saturday.

A proponent known as Jacob B. created the petition June 7 on change.org to stop change the name of the Long Beach high school honoring the 28th president, who served from 1913 to 1921. So far, more than 2,900 people signed the petition which seeks 5,000 signatures.

“When students enter a school to learn, they should not have to look up at a name that stood for white supremacy at the highest levels of political power. I believe that an educational institution located in a diverse and inclusive city like Long Beach should not memorialize this man,” Jacob B said.

“There are many great Americans whose name could better represent the promise of a Long Beach education. While we may not all agree on a new name for this school, I think we can agree that it should not be named after Woodrow Wilson. Black Lives Matter. Rest in Peace George Floyd.”

Also Saturday, Los Angeles Urban Policy Roundtable president Earl Ofari Hutchinson and other area civil rights leaders issued a demand that Long Beach school officials make the change.

“They called Wilson a virulent racist who backed the (Ku Klux) Klan, backed exclusion of Japanese and Chinese from the U.S., screened the racist film `Birth of a Nation’ at the White House and booted Blacks out of federal government jobs,” Hutchinson said. “To have his name on a high school in Long Beach with a near-majority of Blacks, Hispanics, Asians and students of color is a travesty and insult to a diverse city such as Long Beach.”


By Kelley Wheeler

Kelley Wheeler is a Metro reporter covering political issues and general assignments. A second-generation journalist, worked with all major news outlet, she holds a vast expeirience. Kelley is a graduate of USC with degrees in journalism and English literature. She is a recipient of Yale’s Poynter Fellowship in Journalism.

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