Family emergency delays Atlanta Public School board vote on renaming Grady High

Nine months of deliberating on a new name for Grady High School was supposed to boil down to Monday night but a family emergency delayed what could have been the final vote on the matter.

FOX 5's Alex Whittler has been talking to students and parents about the name-changing process for months and several were excited about the possibility of finalizing a name change on December 7.

"I’d be happy," Grady High School Sophomore Tyrice Dunn said.

"It doesn't really matter what the name is, I'm just happy they're [moving toward] changing it," he said.

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The school gets its namesake from Henry W. Grady, the 19th-century Atlanta newspaper editor who advocated for a “New South” after the Civil War but also campaigned against equality for freed slaves.

"I was shocked," Dunn remembered of the first learned about Grady's ideals his freshman year.

Dunn said the process feels drawn out after the school board was expected to vote on a name change in November, but held off on the ultimate decision to hear from students.

"I did do the survey and voted for 'Midtown' high," he said.

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That option was the clear frontrunner for students, with more than 61% of the votes. Others included Piedmont High and Ida B. Wells, after the well-known African American journalist.

Last week, the renaming committee vowed to present the student’s choice at the next board meeting.

But Monday night, there was no vote on the possible name change, because the school superintendent had a family emergency.

Instead, the board held a public comment period on the matter, as students and parents await the next vote.

Board chairman Jason Esteves told FOX 5 the next legislative meeting could happen as soon as Friday.

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