Our School's Identity
The Orleans Parish School Board developed a policy to review school buildings named after individuals. This policy had three checkpoints to determine if a school’s name should be reviewed and possibly changed:
Did the person own slaves, serve as an official in the Confederacy, or support segregation?
For most of his adult life, Ben Franklin enslaved two household servants, and by OPSB policy, his name on school district facilities must be removed.
Naming the Building
As of Summer 2021, the school is Benjamin Franklin High School at the Katherine Johnson campus. We are excited to honor Johnson, who calculated the flight path for America's first crewed space mission and moon landing and was among the women profiled in the book and movie Hidden Figures. Until her death in 2020, she was working on the Mission to Mars program. We are thrilled to work with some of her family members to ensure our building celebrates her legacy.
The Orleans Parish School Board determined that “Benjamin Franklin” is not an appropriate name for the School Building. Within this context, the AAEE board is undertaking a robust, meaningful process to explore the School’s identity, values, and future direction. The process will actively engage and be informed by the School's many stakeholders, including students, faculty, alumni and others.
The framework and timeline for this process are being developed and will be posted here.