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Renaming Barringer Hits A Snag: Two Of Three Finalists Aren't Eligible

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From left: The names of Judy Howard Williams, Charles H. Parker and T.J. Reddy were proposed to replace Barringer as a school name in Charlotte.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools’ quest to rename Barringer Academic Center hit a snag when the district realized two of the three proposed namesakes don’t qualify under CMS policy.

CMS decided to rename the west Charlotte elementary school after learning that the family it’s named for has a history of white supremacy. Last month a naming committee announced three finalists -- all of them figures in Charlotte’s Black history -- and polled the community on their preference.

But after the poll closed, CMS announced that two of the three -- Mothers of Murdered Offspring founder Judy Howard Williams and TJ Reddy, an artist and civil rights activist -- don’t qualify. CMS policy says buildings can only be named for people who have been dead for five years, and both died more recently.

Charles H. Parker, a formerly enslaved person who helped develop churches, schools and affordable housing in the West Boulevard area, will remain in the running. He died in 1939. The renaming committee will meet this week to choose two more names. A new community survey is scheduled to open Friday.

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