The USD 383 Manhattan/Ogden School Board gave final approval last night to name its planned new elementary school Oliver Brown Elementary.
Assistant Superintendent Eric Reid says he is looking forward to the educational pieces they will add to the building. He spoke with Brown’s daughter Cheryl Henderson-Brown about clearing up some of the history for the public.
“First of all, it wasn’t Oliver Brown who was suing the Topeka school district, it was the NAACP and Brown was one of the representatives,” says Reid.
Brown was named the lead plaintiff because the list was alphabetical and his name was the first male name on the list. Reid says they want to emphasize that while they are honoring Brown, they also want to recognize the group effort of those who joined the lawsuit and the NAACP.
Board Member Karla Hagemeister says this will be a great opportunity to share this information with community. She also thanked the community for their excitement in embracing this new name.
The district will now help form a community committee to come up with the school’s colors and mascot.
The board also gave final approval for litigation against the vaping company Juul. The district joins around 10 other school districts in Kansas, along with districts in other states. The district will be represented by a Kansas City Firm, Wagstaff and Cartmell, LLP.
One of the biggest concerns the board had before joining in on the lawsuit was using tax payer money of the court costs. Attorney Eric Barton informed the board at a previous meeting that they would only be compensated if they win and will receive a percentage of the winnings.