Alumni upset over plans to rename Southwest Detroit school

Name change would reflect Hispanic student population

DETROIT – Detroit Public Schools is considering changing the name of Harms Elementary School on the city's southwest side, and the decision is creating controversy.  

Harms Elementary School is the home of the Hawks. It is a part of the Southwest Detroit neighborhood and has been for decades. “Well it has always been Harms,” said Alumni Ken Jones. 

Jones went to school at Harms Elementary. He is proud of the memories and history. History that was named after a local businessman. His name is Theodore Harms. “He came to every function, every event. To me changing the name is disrespectful to the family legacy,” said Jones. 

But the population of the school and the community around the school have changed over the years. Parents said school leaders mentioned the majority of the students at the school are Hispanic and a possible name change would reflect the neighborhood. 

Jessica Camacho agrees. “A change might be good. I think so,” said Camacho. 

She’s not sure of what the new name should be. “Personally, I haven’t thought of anything, but I think a change would be good,” said Camacho. 

Meanwhile, Jones said the name should remain the same. “Why the name change?  I don’t. I can’t even comprehend it,” said Jones. 

The school board is expected to meet soon and discuss the decision. 

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