RUMOR: Dixie School District wasn’t named after the Confederacy.
FACT: All historical evidence points to the connection between Dixie and the Confederacy. Nationally, Dixie is regarded as a symbol of the Confederacy and slavery.
RUMOR: Dixie School District was named after James Miller’s daughter.
FACT: James Miller did not have a child named Dixie.
RUMOR: The school district was named after a Miwok woman named Mary Dixie.
FACT: There is no evidence that Mary Dixie knew James Miller or that she ever visited San Rafael. In 1863, she lived more than 140 miles away from the district.
RUMOR: Changing the name of the district hurts our community.
FACT: Changing the name of the district benefits our community’s reputation. Children will have an opportunity to learn about the negative impact of the old name, American history, and racism. Our memories of Dixie can be preserved in the Old Dixie Schoolhouse Museum.
RUMOR: The name change will cost the district money and take away from the schools.
FACT: The Marin Community Foundation has committed to covering the expenses associated with the name change.
RUMOR: Dixie Trustee Marnie Glickman brought this issue to our community.
FACT: The movement to change the district’s name is thirty years old. In 1989, when Bruce Anderson, a Marinwood resident, started asking questions about the Dixie name. In 1997, Kerry Peirson, former Chair of the Marin Human Rights Commission, advocated for the change at a Dixie Board meeting. In 2003, Dixie Trustee Karen Crockett advocated for a name change with district parents. In 2015, Noah Griffin, a Marin Independent Journal columnist, persuaded the editorial board to urge the Dixie School Board to revisit the issue. In 2015, Dixie Trustee Brad Honsberger asked Marin County Superintendent of Schools to provide the district with a name change process. Glickman began her name change advocacy in 2018.
RUMOR: Our community discussion isn’t good enough.
FACT: Thousands of district residents have participated in board meetings and sent written comments. There has been plenty of media coverage by Marin IJ newspaper, San Francisco Chronicle, all local television stations, and several local radio stations.
RUMOR: Outsiders have too much power and influence.
FACT: There are thousands of name change supporters. Some live in the district. Some don’t live in the district, yet have close ties. They are alumni, relatives, and staff. Other supporters work for equity and inclusion in the district like Congressman Jared Huffman, State Senator Mark McGuire, Marin County Superintendent of Schools Mary Jane Burke, Marin County Foundation President Tom Peters, Marin County Human Rights Commission, Marin County Youth Commission, Marin Promise Partnership, and NAACP.