Most students want ‘Stapleton’ removed from Denver charter school’s name
Author: Steve Staeger, 9News - May 10, 2018 - Updated: May 9, 2018
It started as a school-wide writing assignment: Research the namesake of your school and decide whether it is appropriate or not.
The school is DSST: Stapleton Middle School. The namesake is Benjamin F. Stapleton, a former mayor of Denver.
The assignment comes amid a debate about the Stapleton neighborhood of Denver and its name.
“We learned about all his background, who he was as a person and a mayor,” said Brooklyn Luckett, a seventh grader. “Now saying the name it just makes me think about what we learned about him, and how it’s not really what I want to be known about my school.”
The writing assignment quickly turned into a mission for a group of sixth, seventh and eighth graders. Many of them are trying to get leaders to change the name of the charter school.
As part of the project, students at the school were surveyed about how they felt about changing the name. About 60 percent of them either strongly or generally agreed that changing the name is a good idea.
Benjamin Stapleton served as Denver’s mayor for five discontinuous terms (1923-31, 1935-47) and was known as “Ben the Builder” for the civic improvements he fostered.
He also was a member of the Ku Klux Klan early in his tenure as mayor before breaking with the Klan in 1925. (Read more about his background here from Front Porch.)