Thursday, April 14, 2016

The best reason they should change the name of the North Thurston School District

Mayor of Lacey Andy Ryder (and North Thurston grad):

“It would be a great sort of present from the school district that to acknowledge that they are our school district,” Ryder said.

Mr. Lacey Ken Balsley:

The school district must become part of the community. Sometimes it takes a great deal of effort. Some times its as simple as taking on the name of the community it represents.
I think in a lot of ways, Balsley and Ryder and right, even though more people live in the not-Lacey unincorporated parts of the school district.

Lacey population (2014): 45,446
North Thurston population (2014): 97,942
Non-Lacey, NTSD: 53,496

But, beyond numbers, there is a better reason to drop Thurston all together. The original Thurston was a racist liar and the moniker itself was forced on us by Oregonians.

You can read much much more about Samuel Thurston, the 1850s Oregon representative who our county is named after here: Why do we still call it Thurston County?

But, here is the too-long-didn't-read on Thurston:
  • Despite an agreement in treaty, Thurston worked to screw British citizens out of property in the newly American territory in the 1850s.
  • Thurston was the primary force behind racial exclusion laws that outlawed racial minorities to moving to the Oregon Territory (which Washington was once part of).
  • And, when Washington Territory was separated from the Oregon Territory, it was Oregon delegates that chose to honor Sam Thurston (who had recently died), not people from what was then becoming Washington.


Justin Kover said...

There is a case to be made that the Reverend King was a lying womanizer who disrespected his wife every chance he got. Perhaps we should dump the Reverend King from the King County logo as well?

Emmett said...

I think that begs the question of where you draw the line on honoring people. Martin Luther King obviously had a significant impact on our civic life, while Sam Thurston really didn't. He was just a guy who did some things that we'd like to never repeat that was recently dead when they were trying to come up with a name.

Deb Ross said...

O.C. Lacey was pretty despicable, too, unfortunately.

Emmett said...

Deb, what do you know about O.C. Lacey? I haven't been able to find out much about him at all.

Anonymous said...

Google searched him, plus Lacey museum. Was called "shadowy character", Donald Trump-ish. Was Isaac Woods attorney when he inserted his own name on post office application -without anyone knowing it. When he couldn't make money off of his real estate deals, he left. Was here less than 10 years. Not condoning Thurston, but was man of his time. Lacey was a shyster.