If you’re going to rename a school in the state of Georgia, you can’t go wrong with Hank Aaron.
Forrest Hill Academy, an alternative high school in Atlanta with a name associated with Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest, is renaming itself after Braves legend Hank Aaron.
In addition to being a Confederate general, Nathan Bedford Forrest was also the Ku Klux Klan’s first grand wizard. The school will now be known as Hank Aaron New Beginnings Academy.
The Atlanta Board of Education wasted no time changing the name to that of MLB’s former home run king. According to the board’s rules, a person must be dead for a minimum of five years before a school can be renamed in their honor. However, that rule can be bypassed if the board votes unanimously.
Aaron died on January 22, 2021, and the board unanimously approved the name change on Monday.
According to AL.com:
The Mobile native played nine of his 23 Major League seasons with the Atlanta Braves, accompanying the National League team to Georgia in 1966 when it relocated from Milwaukee. Aaron was chosen for the National League All-Star team in each of his seasons in Atlanta. After his playing career, Aaron began an association with the Atlanta team in the Braves’ front office that lasted the rest of his life.
Aaron achieved one of baseball’s signature moments while playing in Atlanta. On April 8, 1974, Aaron broke one of U.S. sports’ most revered records – the MLB career mark of 714 home runs held by Babe Ruth.
“Names do matter,” Atlanta Board of Education Chairman Jason Esteves said.