The HUUSD Board will devote most of its Feb. 10 meeting to the question of changing the name of the Thatcher Brook Primary School, given Partridge Thatcher’s recently-discovered status as a slaveholder. This is expected to be a two-part decision. First, should the name be changed? And if so, how should the District move forward with this work?
Please note that the school was not named for Partridge Thatcher. Rather, the school’s name comes from the nearby Thatcher Brook. Previously Waterbury Elementary, it had been renamed when Waterbury and Duxbury formed a school district for grades K-8 close to 25 years ago. At the time, the primary and middle school were named after a brook in each town in an effort to use names that would be inclusive to students from both towns. In light of recent research that connects the name of the brook in Waterbury to an individual who owned slaves, the Board has received a request to initiate a process for changing the school’s name.
Information and additional resources about the life and work of Partridge Thatcher can be found HERE or at the Waterbury Area Anti-Racism Coalition’s (WAARC) website waterburyantiracism.com.
We encourage students, families, staff, and community members to share your thoughts with the Board on or before February 10th, so that your voices can be added to the mix. There are a number of ways to do so. If you are comfortable contacting the full board, you can use the group email address: [email protected]. Another way to be heard by the whole Board at once is to share a comment during the extended public comment portion of the Feb 10 Board meeting (these comments are limited in time to 3 minutes or less). If public speaking or group email is not your preference, consider reaching out to any individual Board member (from your town, or from any of our towns) by phone or email -- contact information is available here.
While the Board must adhere to formal protocols and state laws in its operations, we encourage you to remember that it is made up of your neighbors -- people you would see on the sports sidelines, in the grocery, or at church -- regular folks who are interested in the issues at hand and welcome your thoughts, even when there are differences of opinion. We look forward to hearing from you.
The HUUSD Board