Possible school district name change in Kansas

Kansas State Flag

TOPEKA, Kan.  – Leaders of a Kansas school district that is named for an early 20th century Ku Klux Klan leader are meeting Monday to discuss whether to ditch the name.

The discussions come after student journalists at Seaman High School found information confirming that the district’s namesake, Fred Seaman, had a racist past, WIBW reports.

The student paper, The Clipper, reported last fall that Seaman had been an “exalted cyclops,” or chief officer, in the Topeka KKK. Rumors of Seaman’s ties to the KKK had circulated for years in the Topeka district before the student newspaper confirmed it through newspaper clippings from the 1920s.

A group of students plans to protest before the school board meeting. Over the past month, the group has gained support through an online petition with more than 44,000 signatures, but they have also faced criticism from those not wanting to change history.

“I was expecting more of a movement to come out just by itself like I didn’t think that it was going to take us students to be out here having a protest and having another protest and then speaking up at this next board meeting in order for change to happen,” said student, Rene Cabrera.