Chicago’s Daniel Boone Elementary will get a new name after school rejects slaveholder moniker

Daniel Boone Elementary is the latest Chicago school to change its name to remove a reference to a historically “egregious” figure.

The Chicago Board of Education voted unanimously to authorize the school’s renaming. Out of a list of names selected by the West Ridge school’s principal and Local School Council, with community feedback, the elementary school will start the next school year under a new name: Mosaic School of Fine Arts.

The name change process began in January, after the CPS equity office determined that Daniel Boone — a Revolutionary War-era frontiersman who was long considered a folk hero but was also a slave owner who played a role in the colonization of Indigenous people — was a “historically egregious figure.” CPS’ formal name change process is still undergoing revisions but aims to reflect a school’s mission and vision, the district said.

The process for Boone involved the creation of a renaming advisory team, which hosted four community forums to propose names. The three names ranked and recommended by the school were Mosaic, Haven and Sarah Boone.

At Wednesday’s vote, CPS recommended renaming the school the community’s first choice, which the board unanimously approved.

“Chicago Public Schools is a welcoming district that works to create an inclusive and respectful school environment for every student. We continue to undertake the work to ensure that our school names are inclusive and represent CPS values,” a spokesperson for CPS said in a statement.

Another CPS school whose former namesake was racist scientist Louis Agassiz recently changed its name to Harriet Tubman School.

In the Boone case, the CPS equity office wrote that a new name for the school was warranted because of the school namesake’s “relationship with native/Indigenous colonization and dehumanization, as well as being a slave owner of African American people.”

The new name, Mosaic, aims to “better reflect their school community’s value on diversity, equity, and inclusion,” the CPS spokesperson said.