Letter: You Mean It Doesn’t Take a Village? 

January 26, 2024

The naming of Concord’s new middle school is a once-in-a-generation opportunity.  So how should Concord go about choosing an appropriate name?  

Naming a school after an individual (either living or dead) is a difficult task which can quickly turn into just another political exercise creating further public tension and division.  

We should all agree that it takes the collective efforts of thousands of people to make a school successful, including the school administrators, the teachers, the students, the parents, and the taxpayers who ultimately fund the school. 

Based on this collective effort, is it truly feasible or even advisable to identify a single individual to honor above everyone else? 

Can the School Committee, in good conscience, objectively identify a single individual whose name rises above all others in our town, given the number of people who are critical to the success of the new school?  If it takes a village to raise a child, wouldn’t you be advised to name the school after the village? 

Unfortunately, this naming process will become inherently political and divisive, and is already being heavily influenced by the town’s DEI Commission (as evidenced by their submission of Article 22).  Ironically, by naming the school after one individual, it effectively excludes all others who have worked to make the school a success.  This is neither equitable nor inclusive. 

Since its opening eight years ago, the new high school appears to have functioned quite seamlessly despite its simplistic name of “Concord-Carlisle High School” or “CCHS.”  I stand in agreement with Superintendent Laurie Hunter and support naming the new school the “Concord Middle School” or “CMS.” 

Rich Barrett 

Old Marlboro Road