Waterloo Columbus Catholic HS Needs to Change Their Name Now
Well, that's what a growing number of alumni and friends of the school are pushing for anyway.
When I wandered the halls of Columbus Catholic High School from 1979 to 1983, truthfully, as a teenager back then I never put a single thought into whether the namesake of the high school was offensive or not. All I knew was his three ships were called the "Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria". Remember the poem they used to teach? "In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue...blah blah blah". These are the useless history facts that they pounded into your head in elementary school.
Since then, I've always thought it was silly that we celebrate "Columbus Day" in October. It has been well documented that the Italian explorer Christopher Columbus was not the first person to discover North America, in fact, he never even stepped foot on it. So why celebrate it?
Columbus might be considered the “Father of Slavery” in the Americas
Was Columbus just a wayward sailor that thought he made it to Asia when it was just the West Indies? Although his voyages were bold and adventurous, the truth should be known, that his intentions were not good, not good at all. In fact, there is credible evidence that Columbus was involved in the enslavement, mutilation, sexual abuse, and the killing of Native Americans in his four voyages to the Caribbean Islands
Group of friends/alumni calling for "Columbus" to be removed from the school's name
The group explains at "changechsname.org" that "we are convinced that if what we now know about Christopher Columbus was widely known when our school was founded (1959), it would never have been named for him." "And we are convinced that our alma mater should not continue to carry his name."
The group approached the Cedar Valley Catholic Schools (CVCS) Board and the Archdiocese of Dubuque on multiple occasions over the past year. The group explains that the CVCS Board passed a resolution stating its unwillingness to consider a name change at this time. Plus, the Archdiocese of Dubuque stated that it would not take action, citing the issue falls under the authority of the local school board.
Click here to read the CVCS Board Meeting minutes from October 1, 2020. The board explained in 8 well-thought-out key points, why they do not support a name change.
The group say they have no alternative except to take their case public
They're looking to gain support from "the local Catholic community, fellow friends and alumni of Columbus Catholic High School, and the broader Cedar Valley community." The list of supporters on their website has grown to nearly 70 people.
Addressing the wrongdoings of Columbus is not "cancel culture"
The group says, "we were taught in Catholic schools a "Christian culture". These atrocities defile Christian values and are contrary to the values and principles we were taught at our high school. This is a moral issue, and we pray that persons who believe in “Christian culture” will support this effort."
Finally, as the press release mentions, "the group emphasizes that it is not personally criticizing the school, its teachers, or its supporters, but only believes that the school's name should be consistent with the school's values. The group also emphasizes that it is not criticizing the Knights of Columbus, who were instrumental in establishing the Catholic High School.
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