Brookline votes to change name of school named after slaveowner

BROOKLINE, Mass. (WHDH) — A Brookline school currently named for a slaveowner will soon have a new name after a vote Tuesday night.

Edward Devotion School, Brookline’s largest kindergarten through eighth grade school, is located on Harvard Street. It is named for the man who bequeathed the land to Brookline for use as a school. He also owned slaves.

“Part of the benefit of going through this is that one child never feels like they’re less than another,” said one woman in favor of the name change.

The meeting erupted in applause once the votes were tallied in favor of changing the school’s name. However, some residents did oppose the decision, saying this is issue is bigger than a name change.

“We’re each unique and we each have something to contribute. And renaming Devotion isn’t going to put that effort into our society,” said a woman who not in favor of changing Devotion’s name.

One of the speakers at Tuesday’s meeting was Ada Goldstein, a third-grader at the school.

“I want the students to have a chance to be a part of this change,” Ada told 7News.

The vote comes after Yawkey Way outside Fenway Park was changed back to its original name of Jersey Street. The change was made due to Red Sox owner Tom Yawkey’s resistance to integrating the team back in the 1950s.

The next decision will be what to rename the school.

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