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5 options on the table for the renaming of Henry Sibley High School

A committee has put forward five possible new names for the high school, which is located in Mendota Heights.
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Henry Sibley High School in Mendota Heights will be renamed with the help of residents from the school district.

School District 197, which encompasses schools from West St. Paul, Mendota Heights and Eagan, is seeking resident feedback on a new name for Henry Sibley High School.

The school is named after Henry Sibley, a fur trader and military official who was elected Minnesota’s first governor in 1858. The issue of renaming first came up at a school board meeting last summer, and the board officially voted to change the name in December.

The school board has since established guidelines for the renaming process, and a committee has proposed five new name options for the high school.

The new name options are Two Rivers High School, Hillside High School, Mni Sota High School, West Heights High School and Ohoda High School.

Residents can submit feedback on the names though Friday. Community feedback sessions will also be held on Tuesday and Wednesday. 

The school board determined that the school’s current name did not meet the criteria laid out in school district policy, which requires people for whom schools are named after to demonstrate “good character.”

In particular, the school district pointed to Sibley’s actions toward the native Dakota people in Minnesota.

According to MNOpedia, during the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862, Sibley set up a military commission that established brief trials for Dakota prisoners and approved the death sentences of more than 300 men.

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