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Detroit school board called out for 'political stunt' — voting to remove Dr. Ben Carson's name from public high school — while it fails students
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Detroit school board called out for 'political stunt' — voting to remove Dr. Ben Carson's name from public high school — while it fails students

The Detroit School Board voted in November to remove Dr. Ben Carson's name from the Benjamin Carson High School of Medicine and Science. This political stunt did not go unnoticed.

While Carson did not challenge the revision, countless others, including students and some of Carson's former colleagues, denounced the apparent cancelation.

Some have pointed out the pettiness of the partisan stunt, while others have suggested that there might be better uses of the school board's time, such as making substantial improvements in the grossly underperforming schools it oversees.

What are the details?

On Nov. 15, the Detroit School Board approved the renaming of Benjamin Carson High School of Science and Medicine to Crockett Midtown High School of Science and Medicine.

Democrat school board member Sherry Gay-Dagnogo said that community members complained about the name and its link to the Trump administration.

Gay-Dagnogo asked the board to scrap the name so that "we don’t have a direct affiliation with that mindset, especially as it relates to people with challenges, housing needs, etc.," Chalkbeat Detroit reported.

Former board president LaMar Lemmons previously told the Washington Post that had Carson "stayed in medicine ... we would have been happy to put his name on a school. ... We looked at him as an honored son."

Carson having worked with the democratically-elected former president on Americans' behalf, Lemmons claimed, "Is synonymous with having Trump's name on our school in blackface."

Carson High School opened in 2011 and was named as such because the doctor "was widely held up as a role model for Black youth."

Carson is the esteemed former housing and urban development secretary. While he accomplished a great deal for millions of Americans while working with the Trump administration, Carson is also a renowned neurosurgeon who managed significant feats in medicine. In 1987, Carson performed the first successful separation of conjoined twins attached at the back of the head.

The New York Times also noted in a piece calling Carson a "folk hero" that the doctor mastered and refined the procedure known as hemispherectomy, sparing a 4-year-old girl from uncontrollable seizures and enabling her to speak again.

For having accomplished so much and inspiring a generation of black doctors, a public high school was named after Carson in the city where he grew up and in the school system where his education first started.

That school will no longer bear Carson's name, however, on account of his conservative and Republican affiliations.


Former HUD chief of staff Andrew Hughes penned an op-ed with 55 signatories, saying, "Dr. Carson is the epitome of the American dream. Only in our country could a poor boy from the inner city grow up to be a world-renowned neurosurgeon, presidential candidate, and Cabinet secretary. He personifies the very promise of America. Through hard work, opportunity and faith in something above self, just like Dr. Carson we can achieve anything we set our minds to."

Hughes suggested that "removing the name of a man like this leaves us all the worse off for it, especially the students this political stunt purports to set an example for," adding that "Dr. Carson should have dozens of schools named after him."

Christina Pushaw, an aide for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, responded to the Detroit School Board's decision to rename the school by posing the question: "What % of students in Detroit public schools are reading at grade level? Perhaps the board needs to get their priorities in order."

While the Detroit School Board engages in partisan theatrics, the rate of chronic absenteeism amongst its students continues to spin out, having risen to 79% last year.

According to Public School Review, Detroit public schools have an average math proficiency score of 13% and a reading proficiency score of 21%.

The city's schools have an average ranking of 1 out of 10.

Jason Whitlock, host of "Fearless," said the partisan stunt was "sickening. Unreal."

Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk suggested, "If only Ben Carson was a drug addict who robbed a woman at gunpoint, then they’d erect statues of him instead of erasing his memory."

Red State editor Kira Davis wrote, "This man grew up in the projects, redefined pediatric neurosurgery and has saved hundreds/thousands of lives. But yeah, Trump or something."

Carson thanked those who voiced their support, but noted, "I don’t care what any school is named so long as every child gets an equal chance at becoming what they aspire to be."

While measured in his response and singularly focused on the well-being of the kids in the school, Carson told Fox News' Sean Hannity, "It's very sad that we've reached the point where political ideology trumps the whole purpose of an educational institution."

"And we're seeing this wokeness spreading throughout our community to the destruction of our community. How does it do any good for us to demonize people with whom we disagree and to teach that to our children at a time when the math scores are down, the reading scores are down, academic performance is down?" asked Carson.

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Joseph MacKinnon

Joseph MacKinnon

Joseph MacKinnon is a staff writer for Blaze News.
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