By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter
A Republican state Senator has prefiled a bill that would remove public schools from Alabama’s Monument Preservation Law.
Sen. Dick Brewbaker, R-Montgomery, said Tuesday that he filed a bill that would put the decision to change the name of a public school back into the hands of local county and school officials. Under current Alabama law, passed last Legislative Session, changing the name of a public school that’s 20 years old or older would require petitioning an 11-member board.
“I don’t think it’s right,” Brewbaker said. “If locals want to change the name, they should be able to change the name.”
Specifically, Brewbaker pointed to schools that might be replaced or significantly renovated. Under current law, the new school would be required to carry the old school’s name, and the county would need permission from the commission in order to tear down the old school.
Brewbaker told al.com last week that such a burdensome process might cause potential donors who give land or money to build new schools to hesitate because they don’t want to go through the process.
Several schools in Montgomery bear the Brewbaker name, which is a result of Brewbaker’s grandfather, William, who donated money and land in the name of his wife, a former school teacher.
Alabama’s Monument Preservation Law has been a hot topic after protests in Charlottesville, Va., last month over a Confederate monument attracted nationwide attention after a person was killed and several more injured during the violent gathering.
Alabama’s Law prevents monuments and other structures that are named for historical figures and that are at least 20 years old from being removed or altered in any way. The only way around that law is by petitioning a special council and asking for permission.