Seaman School District brings in leadership experts to facilitate name change discussion, at $30k cost

Local News

TOPEKA (KSNT) – The Seaman School District is using the services of the Kansas Leadership Center to help facilitate discussions about breaking ties with the school’s namesake, Fred Seaman, a KKK leader.

The contract with the Kansas Leadership Center will cost $30,000. According to the Center’s CEO, Ed O’Malley, the goal of the group is to “advise the advisory group.”

The center has previously worked on pressing topics like gun control, law enforcement interaction with communities of color and managing COVID-19.

“You put together a wonderful group of community members to think about this question and specifically to think about guiding the process of engagement,” O’Malley said.

The school board president, James Adams, said the advisory committee is made up of a cross-section of the district’s different demographics, taking into account the different age groups, races and genders in the area.

KSNT News asked Adams why the outside group is needed to part ways with the namesake tied to white supremacy at the board meeting Monday night.

“It’s a great question and it’s honestly one that I initially struggled with,” Adams said. “If this is going to be something we have to ultimately decide, then why can’t we just decide? And that’s sort of what led us to working with folks who are experts in working with really complex issues.” 

The discussions come after students with the school newspaper uncovered the namesake’s connections to the KKK in October of 2020.

There is no word on how long the decision making process could last or how much it would cost the district to implement a name change, according to Adams.

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