Negroes and Mexicans In Conflict Over School Name

 CARSON, Calif. — Racial tensions may be the subplot in Carson as elected officials and community activists haggle between naming a new high school after a slain African-American Los Angeles police officer or labor/civil rights icon Cesar Chavez

In October, the City Council unanimously voted to recommend name the school after LAPD SWAT Officer Randal Simmons, who died in a shootout earlier this year. But, since then, two council members, Mayor Jim Dear and Councilman Harold Williams, have had second thoughts, the Daily Breeze reported. The Los Angeles Unified School District is building the school at Santa Fe Avenue and Carson Street, just over the Long Beach side of the city limits with Carson. Despite the tussle in Carson, the power to name the school rests with the school district. Williams told the Daily Breeze that he was fooled into believing that the idea had full community backing, and encouraged Latino residents to come forward and voice their opposition to the choice.

Simmons was black, and much of the support for naming the school in his honor comes from his church, Glory Christian International Fellowship, a predominately black congregation — in spite of the new high school which will be located in largely Latino community, the paper reported.

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