Fullerton school district to remove name from auditorium of man with KKK ties

Fullerton Joint Union High School District is removing Louis E. Plummer's name from a school auditorium because of information discovered about his KKK ties.
FULLERTON, Calif. (KABC) -- The Fullerton Joint Union High School District is renaming a school auditorium because of information discovered about the namesake's historic Ku Klux Klan ties.

School board members decided Tuesday night to remove Louis E. Plummer's name from the auditorium at Fullerton Union High School.

The decision followed a petition from a local teen who found out about Plummer's background.

Plummer was a superintendent and educator in Fullerton in the first half of the 20th century. But a 1979 dissertation that examined the KKK's history in Anaheim in the early 1920s found that Plummer had ties to the racist organization.

Fullerton College took down a portrait of Louis E. Plummer in the library last year for that reason.

The auditorium petition was started a week and a half ago by 18-year-old Jacqueline Logwood after she and a friend learned more about Plummer's background.

"I was kind of disappointed because I love Plummer Auditorium," said Logwood. "I've always been there, my siblings have performed there, I grew up in Fullerton and it's a very monumental landmark."

"I had no prior knowledge of who Plummer was and I figured that many members of my community did not as well," she said.

So Jacqueline started a petition urging Fullerton Joint Union High School District to change the auditorium's name. It now has more than 27,000 signatures - something that blew her away.

"I feel like everybody right now is in a progressive state of mind that's like looking for change within the community. How can we improve our community? How can we encourage diversity in our community?" Logwood said.

The superintendent says this concern has been raised in the past, but this is the furthest it's ever gone. He welcomes the discussion, acknowledging there are also people in the community who want to keep the Plummer name because of all the good he did for the district - something Jacqueline says she understands.

"He helped build the school system. We're labeled as the education city. You know Fullerton has a very strong education system and he was very much influential in that as well," she said.

That's why she thinks a plaque can solve the problem - showing Plummer's contributions, but also revealing the reason for the name change.

"That way we're not forgetting the past, we're remembering the past, and we're making way for a new future," said Logwood.

Superintendent Scott Scambray says the district is still working on when the name will be physically removed from the auditorium as the maintenance department will have to rent some equipment for the task.

"We are still trying to determine a date. It will be sooner rather than later," Scambray said.
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