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UNLV instructor speaks on Kit Carson ES renaming proposal

Trustees ask CCSD to work on finding funds
KIT CARSON ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
Posted at 4:58 PM, Sep 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-10 23:58:41-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — UPDATE 8:30 P.M.: The Clark County School District (CCSD) Board of School Trustees voted to rescind the name of Kit Carson Elementary School in accordance with CCSD Policy 7223.

CCSD estimates the name change, approved by Trustees, will cost between $29,000 and $40,500. Trustees asked CCSD to work with the community to find funds to cover the cost of the renaming.

The school is located near D Street and Alexander Avenue. It was built in 1956.

ORIGINAL STORY
A revered frontiersman or a person with a dark history? It’s a debate that the CCSD board of trustees are having as they consider renaming Kit Carson Elementary School.

This school may eventually be getting a name change, as CCSD trustees discuss renaming Kit Carson Elementary School. The proposal being pushed forward by Trustee Linda Young.

“Most of us don’t get our history from monuments or from buildings," said Neil Dodge, a part-time history instructor at UNLV and a member of the Navajo Nation.

RELATED STORY: CCSD considering renaming Kit Carson Elementary School

Dodges says he sees Kit Carson as having a complicated legacy.

For many students in the southwestern U.S., Carson is remembered as being a legendary frontiersman and an army soldier during the Civil War.

However, he was also responsible for deporting Navajo tribal members from their lands and burned their food supplies. It’s something Dodge says his ancestors experienced.

“What oftentimes gets lost is that for the Apache or [Navajo], my people, he has a very dark history,” he said.

Las Vegas isn’t the only place reconsidering Kit Carson’s legacy.

The Albuquerque Public Schools is discussing renaming its own Kit Carson Elementary School, and in Arizona, a petition circulated to rename an RV park.

Dodge says figures like Carson are having their histories examined once again but says the entire community should come together to make the decision whether to rename or not.

“Everyone has their viewpoints made clear to one another, so there’s no real claim to erasing history," Dodge said.

If the school is renamed, it will cost between $29,000 and $40,500 according to a CCSD assessment.