Nathan Bedford Forrest and Forrest Hills Academy

(I originally posted this at The American Catholic and I thought the education mavens of Almost Chosen People might find it of interest.)

Forrest Hills Academy is an appallingly bad middle school and public high school in Atlanta.  It is making news for a name change:

A school in Atlanta is changing its name to honor the late MLB Hall of Famer Hank Aaron.

The original name honored Confederate Army Lieutenant General Nathan Bedford Forrest, who was a founding member of the Ku Klux Klan.

Following a unanimous vote, the Atlanta Board of Education is renaming Forrest Hill Academy, which will now be called the Hank Aaron New Beginnings Academy, according to USA Today.

“It is very important that we understand our history,” said board member Michelle Olympiadis during the meeting. “It’s very important that we understand where we are coming from.”

The honor comes after Aaron died of natural causes in January. He was 86. Aaron was laid to rest in Atlanta, where he played nine years for the Braves.

Go here to read the rest.  One problem with the story:  there is absolutely no evidence that the school was named after Lieutenant General Nathan Bedford Forrest of the Confederacy.

Atlanta has had black mayors since 1974.

The school was opened in the early years of the current century when the city of Atlanta entered into a contract with Community Education Partners.  They would set up an alternative school for troubled students in Atlanta.  The school was named Forrest Hills Academy.  Its name presumably deriving from the fact that it was located on a hill on Forrest Hills Drive.  I have found no evidence that the street was named after General Forrest.

Parents quickly became dissatisfied with the school which seemed to be merely warehousing students. Go here to read an article on some of the complaints in 2008.

The city of Atlanta took over the school in 2009.  The problems persisted.  Go here to read an article from 2012.  Go here to read about the abysmal current rankings of the school.

One would think that Atlanta would be concerned more about improving the school rather than besmirch Hank Aaron’s good name by attaching it to a failed school.  If General Forrest had been the monster his detractors believe, and there is good evidence that he had changed his mind about racial issues by the time of his death, go here to read a speech he gave to a black civil rights group on July 5, 1875 for which he was heavily criticized by groups of Confederate veterans, I am sure he would find this all vastly amusing in the next world.  The school is a very bad joke played on parents and students, and changing its name does nothing to correct to correct this ongoing crime against education, at the cost of 45.000 a year per student in taxpayer dollars.  The poison of identity politics is ever useful to those in power to detract attention from their blunders and malfeasance.

Published in: on April 21, 2021 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on Nathan Bedford Forrest and Forrest Hills Academy