NEWTON, Kan. (KSNW) – A topic of discussion scheduled for tonight’s Newton Public School’s board of education meeting is changing the name of Lindley Hall, the gymnasium at Santa Fe Middle School.
The building is named after long-time Newton High basketball coach and school principal, Frank Lindley who is a member of the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame.
According to information collected in the Harvey County Historical Museum archives, Lindley had pro-segregation views. An archived yearbook photo from the 1945 Railroader pictures the colored team and the white team.
Lindley died in 1968.
School board member Steve Richards would like to see the name changed to set a good example for current school children.
“This is not about trying to bury history or change history, rather to put that history in appropriate context,” Richards said.
Multiple people spoke during the public comment portion of the meeting, including Janet Soukup who opposes the change.
“History needs to stay history. Let’s stay in the present, make changes for the future. You can’t change the past,” Soukup said.
No action was taken at Monday’s board meeting, but it is expected to be discussed at the next board meeting.