It wasn't just a fight about a name, but also about history,politics, and race, and it's undoubtedly the hottest topic in the schoolbuilding Tuesday. The school has been in Taylortown, a predominantlyblack, working class town, for 50 years.
The town is often overshadowed by it's neighbor, predominantly whitePinehurst, but now Taylortown residents say they have emerged from thatshadow to some extent.
With a unanimous vote, the Moore County School Board ended a bittercontroversy. Since July, when the only school in Taylortown was namedPinehurst Year-Round, citizens have been lobbying to have the name changedto honortheirtown.
Taylortown resident Rev. Andrea Weeks says it was a matter of pride.
A committee from the school conducted a survey among school parents,teachers and students. It supported keeping the name Pinehurst, soTaylortown residents felt they were excluded from the decision-makingprocess.
In the end, board members rejected both names, voting, instead, for thename Academy Heights. That was the school's name during years ofsegregation. Taylortown Mayor Ulysses Barrett told WRAL-TV5'sKelly Wrightno one ever said whyTaylortown wasn't considered.
School Board Chairman Buddy Robertson says it was a difficult decisionto make.
The conflict is not completely over. The name change to Academy Heightswill not be official until July, 1998. The new name will be in place forthe beginning of the 1998-1999 academic year.
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