New Rockville Elementary School Named

Photo | MCPS

At a recent meeting, the Montgomery County Board of Education selected a name for Richard Montgomery Elementary School #5.

The Board voted to name the new school after Bayard Rustin, a leader in the Civil Rights Movement and a gay rights activist.

This name however, was not the first choice selected by the school’s naming committee who proposed the name Lillian Brown Elementary School.

School Board Member Patricia O’Neil, however, moved to name the school after Rustin.  O’Neil’s motion was second by School Board Member Jill Ortman-Fouse.

“What can be more inspiring than showing our students that with everything stacked up against them, they can still persevere,” Ortman-Fouse, said.

Jeanette Dixon, however, stated that she is opposed to choosing another name other that what community selected.

“I’m not voting against the name but I feel strongly about listening to the community and doing what the community asked us to do” she said. “I don’t want people in the LGBTQ community that we’re imposed to them or this name but we should vote for the community’s choice.”

The school is set to open September of 2018.




Like this post? Sign up for our Daily Update here.
Mitti Hicks

About Mitti Hicks

Mitti Hicks is a multimedia journalist and community engagement specialist with Montgomery Community Media. She is passionate about telling stories that impact our community and may be reached at and on Twitter @mittimegan.


8 Responses to “New Rockville Elementary School Named”

  1. Avatar
    On April 12, 2018 at 4:30 pm responded with... #

    I’m surprising angry about this action. I know who Bayard Rustin was, but I didn’t know who Lillian Brown was until I read this: She was a remarkable woman of color born in 1912 near Lake Needwood in Montgomery County, who couldn’t attend Montgomery County schools because of segregation. She became an educator, principal of the Germantown Colored Elementary School, and continued to volunteer in education in Rockville after her retirement. Over the community recommendation, the school board voted to name the elementary school after someone with zero connection to Montgomery County – and this is the SECOND TIME Ms. Brown has been passed for a school naming after receiving a community recommendation. I hope that Ms. O’Neil and Ms. Ortman-Fouse will rectify this immediately by renaming either Rockville or Gaithersburg HIGH SCHOOL after Lillian Brown.

  2. Avatar
    On April 12, 2018 at 7:34 pm responded with... #

    They need to rename the elementary school to Lillian Brown ES, Dogwood ES, or Richard Montgomery ES. No offense but naming the ES after Bayord Rustin is setting kids up to be confused and bullied. Kids transitioning from this to middle school will have to face unnecessary ridicule if named BR . Community? 2 month process? I live down the road and haven’t had an opportunity to ‘vote’. My kids plan to go there but we’ll be looking elsewhere if the name isn’t changed.
    Seriously, this is for our children. Please Change the name, it would not be constructive to keep.

    • Avatar
      On April 20, 2018 at 9:14 am responded with... #

      All of us crazy adults often create more drama; this student seems to have the best explanation: “Find Jamie Griffith’s comments before the Board of Education. Go to MCPSTV on YouTube and search ‘Jamie Griffith–Public Comment / Board of Education\'”

  3. Avatar
    On April 13, 2018 at 6:59 am responded with... #

    This is sick! It seriously disrespects the community, it tells all other future community advisors that your input will be ignored, it tells the present community advisors that your time was completely wasted, and that Montgomery County wants to give status to a person that worked against our government his entire life. Honoring a dog catcher would be much better if there was no other choice!

    These six people who rammed this name onto the County need to be replaced with those that respect our form of government and more closely represent what we stand for.

  4. Avatar
    On April 14, 2018 at 2:59 am responded with... #

    I appreciate and second the first comment to rename a school after Lillian Brown . But the second and third comments show how far we still have to go : ” confuse and bully children and ” move away” if this great man’s name is not removed? Compare him to a dogcatcher? Really sad and shows the civil rights Bayard and others have fought for is an on going fight

  5. Avatar
    On April 14, 2018 at 9:09 pm responded with... #

    Really Moco? Naming a school after a communist? Socialist? And a person who had sex in public with prostitutes? Also by the way has no connection to this area. The first choice was better.

    • Avatar
      On April 20, 2018 at 9:06 am responded with... #

      Incorrect. He wasn’t a Communist or Arrested for Public Sex with a Prostitute. Wikipedia was changed by someone right after Bayard Rustin was selected as a finalist. Please do not rely on Wikipedia because it isn’t sourced material and you can be accused of slander. There are many well-sourced biographical descriptions of Bayard Rustin and his amazing life, including a biography on

      • Avatar
        On May 19, 2018 at 8:39 pm responded with... #

        He did get arrested for public indecency and having sex with prostitutes. The Wikipedia page was changed much, much earlier than Bayard Rustin would be selected as a finalist, just check the page history. The Wikipedia lines are straight quotes from other public websites. The same information can be found in different formats on many public sites. His FBI arrest record is now public and available on the Internet. Here is a quote from the Black Monument Project which has nothing to do with Wikipedia – “In 1953, he was arrested after being found having sex with two men in a parked car in Pasadena, California.” And here is a quote from the pages of APRI, an institute that Rustin founded – “Rustin was a gay man who had been arrested throughout his early career for engaging in public sex with white male prostitutes.”

Engage us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter