Brea Olinda school board honors Fanning household request to rename school – OCRegister

8July 2020

After about 4 decades of being named for teacher William E. Fanning, a grade school in the Brea Olinda Unified School District will now be called the Falcon Academy of Science and Innovation.

The modification ends a number of years of public argument over whether the school must bear the name of an individual some are worried might have had ties to the Ku Klux Klan.

  • Bro William and Richard Fanning, from left, hold a photo of their grandfather, William E. Fanning. The brothers, together with the remainder of the Fanning household, sent a letter to the Brea Olinda Unified School District asking that William E. Fanning’s name be removed a grade school in Brea, CA after his name showed up on an alleged list of Ku Klux Klan members. The household states the claims are dirty however asked for & the elimination of the name from what is now called the Fanning Academy of Science & Innovation so as not to be a distraction from informing the kids. Photographed in Brea, CA on Monday, July 6, 2020.(

  • Image by Paul Bersebach, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    An indication sits outside the Fanning Academy of Science & Innovation in Brea, CA on Monday

  • , July 6, 2020.(Image by Paul Bersebach, Orange County Register/SCNG)Noise The gallery will resume in seconds The Fanning Academy of Science & Innovation in Brea, CA is seen on Monday, July 6, 2020. The Fanning household sent a letter to the Brea Olinda Unified School District asking that William E. Fanning’s name be removed the school after his name showed up on an alleged list of Ku Klux Klan members. The household states the claims are dirty however asked for the elimination of the name from what was originally called Fanning Primary school so as not to be a distraction from

    informing the kids.( Image by Paul Bersebach, Orange County Register/SCNG) William E. Fanning speaks at the 1971 dedication of Fanning Primary school in Brea, CA. The Fanning household sent a letter to the Brea Olinda Unified School District asking that William E. Fanning’s name be removed a grade school in Brea, CA after his name showed up on an alleged list of Ku Klux Klan members. The household states the claims are dirty however asked for the elimination of the name from what is now called the Fanning Academy of Science & & Innovation so as not to be a distraction from informing the kids. (Image courtesy Fanning household)

  • William E. Fanning talks to kids in 1972 at Fanning Primary School in Brea, CA. (Image courtesy Fanning household)

  • Fanning’s descendants have absolutely declined the concept he was a KKK member, saying it simply doesn’t comport with the guy they understood, with the teacher who advocated versus segregation in regional schools, however last week they asked the school board to remove his name from the primary school so the district can focus on more crucial things. The board all voted to honor the household’s request on Tuesday, July 7, and drew a brand-new name from the school’s mascot.

    Fanning taught and served as a principal and superintendent for the Brea district from 1914 to 1942.

    An archived list of supposed Klan members in Orange County and articles about it in the OC Weekly led a group of moms and dads to petition the district to alter the school’s name. In early 2019, the school board settled on a brand-new name– Fanning Academy of Science and Innovation– showing the school’s new focus on computer science, however some board members stated they didn’t believe there sufficed proof tying Fanning to the KKK to justify erasing him from the school.

    On Tuesday, board member Carrie Flanders stated she didn’t see the elimination of Fanning’s name from the school as an event for anyone to state victory.

    “This is the Fanning household’s story to compose and their choice to make,” she stated. “By withdrawing their name from our school, they have given William E. Fanning the regard and dignity he is worthy of.”

    Source: ocregister.com

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