Woodrow Wilson name to be dropped, building renamed beginning in 2021-2022 school year


A Fargo Public Schools' high school's name will be dropped following the conclusion of the 2019-2020 school year.

At its board meeting Tuesday night, the Fargo Public School Board of Education unanimously voted to drop the name of Woodrow Wilson High School at the end of the year, and to begin the naming process. The decision comes after the school board allowed 15 days for community input, partly via a survey put out by district officials.

The recommendation to rescind the name came from the Communications, Engagement and Advocacy Committee through its chairwoman, Nikkie Gullickson.

The district says 253 responses were collected during the 15 day period. Superintendent Dr. Rupak Gandhi told the board it is unknown if these responses were "unique," or if an individual may have put in more than one survey response. Nonetheless, 61.3 percent of the respondents requested the district remove the name Woodrow Wilson from the high school, while 38.7 percent wanted the district to retain the name.

Jim Johnson, who is a Fargo Public School board member, told the board that the name Woodrow Wilson "means one thing to people who have researched and spoken to us both for and against it, it means something totally different to the students and staff that are in that building."

"They know who they are. They know their identity. They are perfectly comfortable changing the name of their school, as well, if it makes it better for the community to understand how inclusive they are," Johnson said.

Prior to the vote, board member Brian Nelson made a comment about schools.

"What makes schools is relationships with the parents, the teachers and the students," he said.