School Committee should listen to Town Meeting on Garrison naming

May 12, 2024

In her defense of the School Committee’s vote to name our new middle school “Concord Middle School,” I was encouraged to hear Chair Alexa Anderson say “That’s democracy.”  

In light of the recent vote at Town Meeting, I hope the School Committee will review their initial naming decision and take seriously that concept of democracy. In any meaningful concept of democracy, the votes by two committee members against naming the school for Ellen Garrison fall far short of the overwhelming community support for Ellen Garrison expressed at Town Meeting. 

Town Meeting is specifically the form of democratic expression by which we govern our town, and democratically elected town officials, including members of the School Committee, have an ethical if not a legal obligation to reflect that broader democratic process. 

Any assertion that the votes of two elected officials take priority over the large majority vote at Town Meeting could not be further from democracy. The School Committee should take seriously its obligation to reflect the outcome of our full democratic process and name the school for Ellen Garrison.

Steven Block

Cambridge Turnpike