FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) — Wednesday evening the Fresno Unified School District board voted to rename Forkner Elementary School after renowned Armenian journalist Roger Tatarian.
The 6-0 vote comes amid controversy as Wednesday’s decision was met with a passionate response.
“Singling out one school across a large district sets a precedent that this board will randomly and inconsistently consider the renaming of schools without a deeper analysis by a committee,” said one participant.
“We were here before you,” shouted another. “We’re the indigenous people of Fresno. We’re the indigenous people of Fresno. We are Fresno Armenians and Fresno Indians.”
“Very very wrong,” said one man. “The whole bunch needs to be recalled, all of you.”
Early in the summer, Roger Tatarian’s grandson asked the board to consider re-naming Forkner Elementary School saying that Jesse Clayton Forkner, a developer in the 1920s excluded many races, including Armenians living in his developments.