Framingham school officials suggest renaming Woodrow Wilson Elementary after Brazilian educator

Purnima DeMorais, principal of Woodrow Wilson Elementary in Framingham, and Vice Principal Darlene Pugnali, said at a recent meeting that the school should be renamed the Paulo Freire Global Academy.

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. (AP) — Administrators at a Massachusetts elementary school named after former President Woodrow Wilson have suggested renaming the school after a famous Brazilian educator.

Purnima DeMorais, principal of Woodrow Wilson Elementary in Framingham, and Vice Principal Darlene Pugnali, said at a recent meeting of the school committee’s inclusion subcommittee that the school should be renamed the Paulo Freire Global Academy, The MetroWest Daily News reported.

They said Freire, who wrote the book “Pedagogy of the Oppressed,” is considered a leading advocate of inspiring students to “think critically and beyond surface levels” and to be aware of oppression as well as oppressors.

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Framingham school officials began considering stripping the former president’s name from the school in the summer.

Wilson, president during World War I and former New Jersey governor, was also a segregationist. The school was named in 1924, the year Wilson died.

Princeton University and Monmouth University in New Jersey earlier this year removed Wilson’s name from buildings on campus.

The Framingham School Committee is still seeking more suggestions.

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