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Replace Northeast With Classen?

School Board Member Says He Wants a Vote on Name-Change

The school board member in the forefront of those opposing a name-change of the Northeast Academy of Health Sciences & Engineering asked a judge last week to bar the board from renaming the school.

Board Member Charles Henry said he doesn’t want the renaming until there has been more public discussion and voted on.

The board has indicated it wants to close Northeast Academy and replace it with the Classen School of Advanced Studies.

The Northeast High School Alumni Association is listed as a petitioner in Board Member Henry’s legal challenge

The lawsuit seeks to prevent efforts by Supt. Sean McDaniel and the board to rename the historical northeast Oklahoma City school.

It seeks to have the planned name-change to be placed on the school board’s agenda and voted on.

In the lawsuit, Board Member Henry complains in his amended petition that the superintendent and Board Chairman Paula Lewis have not complied with board policy regarding the renaming.

“The respondents have attempted to usurp and circumvent the reconfiguration process of the merger between Northeast Academy and Classen School of Advanced Studies,” the petition says, “and has interfered in that matter to avoid community discussion and dialogue as required by board policy.”

“The naming of a school is an important matter that deserves thoughtful attention,” it went on.

“Personal prejudice or favoritism, political pressure, or temporary popularity should not be an influence in choosing a name.”

While Henry contends the board never voted on the name change, a district official said Thursday the name Classen School of Advanced Studies High School was included in a recommendation Supt. McDaniel made to the board in March to close and reconfigure multiple schools.

The board’s approval of that matter served as the official vote to change the school’s name, Beth Harrison , a school district spokesman, said.

Board Member Henry’s initial petition was filed on July 3.

Earlier, Oklahoma County District Judge Richard Ogden approved a temporary restraining order filed last month against the board, Chairman Lewis and Supt. McDaniel.

Board Member Henry wanted to bar the board from taking disciplinary action against him.

Jessica Sherrill, the district’s general counsel, had opened an ..To read more, subscribe to the blackchronicle newspaper