Los Angeles Times, February 13, 2019
The Dixie School District has voted to keep its name, despite criticism from some who say it is linked to the Confederacy and slavery. School officials said they would revisit the issue later.
The school board voted Tuesday night after more than five hours of public testimony over changing the name of the 150-year-old district, which supporters say came from a Native American woman, Mary Dixie.
The issue generated weeks of heated online debate between parents in the overwhelmingly white city of 59,000 north of San Francisco, with some insisting that the Dixie name is racially insensitive and others arguing that the call for a name change represented political correctness run amok.
James Miller donated land for the first schoolhouse. Those who support changing the name say Miller named the district Dixie after being dared by Confederate sympathizers. Those who oppose the change say the school system was named for Dixie, a Miwok Indian woman whom Miller knew in the 1840s.
Marge Grow Eppard, a member of the Miwok tribe who said her family name is Dixie, told the board Tuesday that she “did not realize my family’s name was so offensive.”
Patrick Nissim, who attended district schools, said he did not “subscribe to the idea that everyone who wants to keep the name is racist.”