Hand Middle School

Edward Hand Middle School in the School District of Lancaster. 

School District of Lancaster’s middle school formerly named after Revolutionary War Gen. Edward Hand will be temporarily named Southeast Middle School, district Superintendent Damaris Rau announced Tuesday.

The decision comes a week after the school board agreed to strip the school of its name because Hand, who lived in Lancaster at the farm-turned-museum Rock Ford before his death in 1802, owned slaves.

To settle on an interim name, families voted on two options: Southeast Middle School or South Ann Middle School. During Tuesday’s committee of the whole meeting with the school board, Rau said 56% voted in favor of Southeast.

The district will begin the process for selecting a permanent name beginning in September, Rau said. That process, she said, should wrap up by spring 2021.

“We feel like we’re in good shape,” Rau said, adding that the district will roll out the new name, as well as class lessons exploring the reasons behind the name change, by the start of the upcoming school year.


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