For the second time in two months, a Portland high school is being renamed for a person of color.
The Portland Public Schools Board of Education has voted unanimously to change the namesake of Madison High School to Leodis V. McDaniel, who served as the school's principal from 1983 until his death in 1987. He was one of the only Black principals in Oregon at the time. An annual scholarship had previously been named in his honor.
The school had previously been named after James Madison, the fourth U.S. president and a documented slaveowner. A Change.org petition to change the school's name was started last July and collected over 4,000 signatures.
In a press release, the PPS board says it spent "months" doing community outreach to decide on a proper name.
Guadalupe Guerrero, superintendent of Portland Public Schools, said in a statement that students returning to campus in fall 2021 "will be entering a modernized building that is the first of our high schools to be named for a local hero, a Black Portlander who dedicated his life to public education."
This is the second Portland high school to receive a name change this year: In January, the board voted to rename Woodrow Wilson High School for Black journalist and activist Ida B. Wells.
Both decisions have come on the heels of a debate across the country over the symbolic honors extended to American historical figures, including public monuments. This past weekend, a statue of Oregonian editor Harvey Scott in Mount Tabor torn down by protesters last October was replaced by a bust of York, an enslaved member of the Lewis and Clark expedition.