Pascagoula school district name change debate sparks again

Pascagoula school district name change debate sparks again

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Some Gautier Citizens and city leaders want the Pascagoula school district's board to add the city to its official district title.

Gautier schools have been part of the district for more than 50 years, and the same name-change issue died last year. The citizens and city officials hope that won't be the case this time around.

The Pascagoula School District's name has represented many schools and thousands of students in both Pascagoula and Gautier for decades. Some citizens and city leaders would like to see that changed.

"When we get national recognition, it is a good thing to put Gautier on there somewhere," Gautier resident William Davis said.

Davis said the name, Pascagoula-Gautier School District could give the city more recognition and it would better reflect the entire student body.

"When the sports teams and the drama teams or the band travel, having the name on the bus that becomes community pride. It is a student pride thing and makes the students understand they belong to a community," Davis said.

Gautier's city manager Samantha Abell says many citizens have also approached the mayor and city council about encouraging the school board to consider a name change.

"Our student body represents half of those in the school district. U.S. News and World's Report has consistently recognized schools within the City of Gautier for their outstanding performance and they have done the same in Pascagoula," Abell said.

The City of Gautier requested this same title change last year.

According school board officials, they didn't vote on the issue, but reached a consensus not to modify the name. Instead, they considered adding Gautier or the mascot to some of the buses in that city. Superintendent Wayne Rodolfich said that hit a road block.

"There is some legal issues to doing that," Rodolfich said.

Both Davis and Abell hope the city will have more luck this time around.

"It is simple and easy to do. It had a positive impact in Bay-Waveland School district."

There are currently six school and more than 3,000 students in Gautier. The district's total enrollment is nearly 7,200.

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