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It was standing room only at the Brunswick County Board of Education’s public hearing Tuesday night to discuss naming the new middle school.
Of the 11 people who spoke, three were against naming the school Cedar Grove Middle School, the community in which the school will be built. At a committee meeting last month, board member Jimmy Hobbs, who serves over District 2 where the school will be built, spoke in support of naming the school Lockwood Folly Middle School. Students from Supply, Varnamtown, Holden Beach, Town Creek, Lockwood Folly, and Shallotte areas will all feed into the school.
“The school should name should reflect the community in which it serves,” Hobbs previously said. “The attendance district serves all of Lockwood Folly Township.”
The three who spoke against naming the school Cedar Grove all argued the same reason—the school should reflect all areas, not just the area where the school is built.
“The name Lockwood Folly won’t advertise any particular community,” Varnamtown alderman Ennis Swain said. “I do think it’s fair to all areas.”
Farron Holden, a Stone Chimney resident, said naming the school Lockwood Folly would be the fair decision.
“This is a school for our kids, for our grandkids, not for each and every one of us,” he said. “I think each and every one of you out there would go along with Lockwood Folly because it says everyone, not just one.”
Of the eight who spoke in support of naming the school Cedar Grove, each had a different reason to support the name.
Bob Gore of Cedar Grove said the name “Folly” would bring a bad connotation to the school.
“The word ‘folly’ is defined in Webster’s Dictionary as a lack of good sense or normal prudence and foresightee a foolish act or idea. Let us hope that the board of education does not commit a folly this evening,” he said.
Christy Judah, a local historian and published author of Brunswick County history and cedar groves are indigenous to the area, and said naming the school Cedar Grove does not only represent the people of the community but also the nature.
Judah said she has worked along side with residents of the Cedar Grove community who have helped restore slave cemeteries and other historic areas.
“I’m proud to stand with them and beside them,” she said.
Barbara Hewett said naming the school Cedar Grove would pay homage to a school that served the community years ago.
“Our purpose is to restore a school named Cedar Grove that we lost in the shuffle doing the early days of integration,” she said. “We’re not here to ask for anything new. Brunswick County and it’s school system once had a Cedar Grove school.”
Naming the school Cedar Grove would also put an end to a racial stereotype, Myron Hewett said.
“Cedar Grove is more than just a black community, it is so much more,” he said. “Great things have come out of Cedar Grove, and great people have come out of Cedar Grove. We are a group of citizens that are living in harmony in a rural area of togetherness. We are progressive, we’re open and we’re value based.”
The school board is set to name the school at its July 8 meeting, which will be at 6:30 p.m. at the central office in Bolivia. Anyone wishing to speak during the public comment section of the meeting must call ahead and request to be placed on the agenda.