George Fox

George Fox

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George Fox was born in Fenny Drayton, Leicestershire, in 1624. Apprenticed to a Nottingham shoemaker, Fox developed strong opinions about religion. Fox rebelled against the state control of the Church of England and in 1643 began toured the country giving sermons where he argued that consecrated buildings and ordained ministers were irrelevant to the individual seeking God. Three years later Fox had a divine revelation that inspired him to preach a gospel of brotherly love.

Fox formed a group called the Friends of Truth. Later they became known as the Society of Friends. Fox's central dogma was that of the inner light, communicated directly to the individual soul by Christ.

After 1656 followers of Fox refused to attend Anglican services or pay tithes. This resulted in Fox being arrested. According to Fox's journal, Justice Bennet of Derby "was the first that called us Quakers, because I bade them tremble at the word of the Lord". Eventually members of the Society of Friends became known as Quakers.

During the reign of Charles II, 13,562 were arrested and imprisoned in England and 198 were transported as slaves, and 338 died in prison or of wounds received in violent assaults on their meetings. The Society of Friends continued to grow and by 1660 Fox had made more than 20,000 converts and missionaries were at work in Ireland, Scotland, Wales and the American colonies.

After considerable debate, the Quakers evolved a form of organization with regular monthly, quarterly, and annual meetings. They selected elders, to watch over the ministry, and overseers to make provision for the poor and secure the education of the children. They wore sober clothes and used the terms 'thee' and 'thou' to all as a sign of equality. The use of titles or honours and "doffing the hat" were to be avoided even in the presence of the royal family.

During his lifetime George Fox visited Barbados, Jamaica, America, Holland and Germany. Fox was accompanied on his travels by William Penn and in 1661 he founded the American Quaker Colony of Pennsylvania. Fox continued as a travelling preacher until his death in 1691.

Three years after death, a committee of leading Quakers under the leadership of William Penn, edited and published his journals. George Fox's Journal (1694) describes his visions, his teachings and his frequent imprisonments.

George Fox

"These things I did not see by the help of man, nor by the letter &hellip but I saw them in the light of the Lord Jesus Christ, and by his immediate spirit and power, as did the holy men of God by whom the Holy Scriptures were written."

Even as a child, George Fox knew he was somehow different. He was repelled when he watched older men "carry themselves lightly and wantonly towards each other" in pointless diversions and drunkenness. He vowed, "If ever I come to be a man, surely I shall not do so."

As a man, he went even further&mdashfounding a movement that helped others meet Christ and live lives worthy of their Lord.

The inner light

Fox was born in a small English village, the son of a weaver. He became a cobbler's apprentice, but, disgusted with the lax morals of his fellow apprentices, he quit and set off on a spiritual journey. He traveled all over England, attending religious meetings and seeking illumination. He immersed himself in the Bible and wrestled to discover truth.

He eventually came to the conclusion that all sects were wrong and that their worship was a disgrace. Pastors who worked for a salary were nothing but "journeymen." Hymns, sermons, sacraments, and creeds hindered&mdashrather than helped&mdashpeople to worship.

Instead, Fox looked to the "inner light" for inspiration. This inner light, he argued, was in everyone, though it might be very dim in some. It is not intellect nor natural reason nor morality, but a capacity to recognize and accept God. It also makes it possible for people to understand and believe the Bible. Therefore it is through the inner light, first and foremost, that people come to know God.


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&ldquoThese things I did not see by the help of man, nor by the letter," he concluded, "but I saw them in the light of the Lord Jesus Christ, and by his immediate spirit and power, as did the holy men of God by whom the Holy Scriptures were written."

Persecution and practice

He was hesitant to share these insights at first, but one day he said he felt called by the Spirit to speak out at a Baptist meeting. The promptings of the Spirit became increasingly frequent in his journals he regularly writes, "At the command of God, I &hellip " and "I was moved to go &hellip "

As he went forth, however, "with the word of life into the world, the world swelled and made a noise like the great raging waves of the sea." In many places, Fox was treated with contempt he was physically thrown from meetings, beaten, stoned, and jailed. He spent a total of six years in prison&mdashthe first time, for interrupting a preacher who was saying that ultimate truth was found in the Bible. Other times it was for blasphemy or for conspiring against the government (i.e., for his pacifism).

Still, he gathered followers. They structured their worship so nothing could get in the way of the Spirit. The sacraments were rejected, and the service took place in silence, though any who felt called to speak or pray aloud could do so. People began calling them "quakers" because many would tremble as they were moved by the Spirit, but Fox preferred the term "friends."

To thwart individualism, Fox emphasized the importance of community and love. Decisions among the Friends were not made by majority vote but by consensus. If consensus wasn't reached, decisions were postponed until the group as a whole could discern the leading of the Spirit.

The Friends also refused to swear oaths or tithes or bow to their betters (they insisted on using the familiar "thou" instead of the respectful "you"). Like their founder, they were staunch pacifists.

Spreading the faithFox traveled abroad to spread his gospel of the inner light. In Scotland, he was accused of sedition. He went to Ireland, then to the Caribbean and North America he also made two visits to the Continent.

In both England and America, the Friends were severely persecuted for decades, but the movement continued to grow. The most famous convert in America was William Penn, founder of Pennsylvania.

The Quakers have never become large numerically (there are now a mere half-million worldwide), but they eventually earned the respect of the other Christian denominations.

George Fox, founder of the Quakers

The young men were taking in a fair. George Fox had gone in with them to order a jug of beer. He was thirsty and in 1643 no one thought it wrong for teens to drink. They were all Christian lads. "I, being thirsty, went in with them, for I loved any who had a sense of good, or that sought after the Lord," wrote George later.

But, "When we had drunk a glass apiece, they began to drink healths, and called for more drink. " George was upset that youths who claimed to be Christian would challenge each other to a drinking bout. Even non- Christians had never suggested such a thing to him.

He got up, took a small coin from his pocket and laid it on the table, saying, "If that's the way its going to be, I'm going."

Significant results came from that drinking bout. George went home when his business was done. But the incident troubled him so much that he didn't go to bed that night, but walked up and down, praying and crying to the Lord, "who said unto me, 'You see how young people go together into frivolity, and old people into the earth you must leave all, young and old, keep out of all, and be as a stranger unto all.'"

That was the spiritual crisis of George Fox's life. He left home and wandered alone, seeking spiritual answers. As he meditated on scripture, insights came to him. He saw that only those who are actually born of God are Christians. The Lord could and would teach any man who belonged to him. God did not dwell in churches made by men but in individual hearts.

Conversing with those who were thought to be holy, investigating claims and cults, immersing himself in Bible reading and prayer, he reached the conclusion that no one had answers for his inner unhappiness. The majority of religious leaders seemed to him to live in darkness and sin. He described one as a hollow cask. "When all my hopes in them and in all men were gone, so that I had nothing outwardly to help me, nor could I tell what to do, then, oh, then, I heard a voice which said, 'There is one, even Christ Jesus, that can speak to thy condition' and when I heard it, my heart did leap for joy." George learned to rely on inner illumination from the Lord, who would direct him to the work he was to do in each place he went. He formed the Society of Friends (Quakers). Acting according to their consciences, they exercised a profound influence for good on the world.

For daring to be different, George suffered at least six imprisonments. However, he won converts among fellow prisoners and the jailors. But he also testified before public figures like Oliver Cromwell.

George Fox died in 1690. Penn says, "He had the comfort of a short illness, and the blessing of a clear sense to the last and we may truly say with a man of God of old, that 'being dead, he yet speaketh' and though absent in body, he is present in Spirit. "

George Fox (1624 - 1691)

George Fox was born at Drayton-in-the-Clay (now Fenny Drayton), Leicestershire in July 1624. [1] [2] [3] He was the son of Christopher Fox and Mary Lago. [1] He had three younger siblings. [2] His parents were reasonably well-off: George Fox had a large enough inheritance when his father died not to have to worry much about money. [2]

Earlier Life

In about 1635 he was apprenticed to a local shoemaker. [2] [4] In 1643, after a drinking bout, he abandoned his apprenticeship and went to London. [2] [5]

He returned home the following year, and there followed a set of debates and consultations with religious ministers. He appears to have suffered from depression and spiritual dissatisfaction during this period, and none of the priests gave him what he regarded as satisfactory answers. He became increasingly critical of recognised Christian ministers. [2]

Start of the Quaker Movement First Imprisonments

George Fox had a series of mystical experiences. In one, which occurred in 1647, he heard a voice saying, "There is one, even Jesus Christ, that can speak to thy Condition". [6] He came to believe that even the Bible was less authoritative than inner guidance to reject doctrines like the Trinity as having no scriptural basis and to oppose the taking of oaths and payment of tithes. Soon he started to refuse to take off his hat as a sign of respect for social superiors, and to proclaim that it was not education that qualified people to minister and speak in religious gatherings, but divine inspiration. [2]

George Fox began to preach his message in the Midlands of England, but his beliefs inevitably brought him into conflict with the authorities. He suffered his first periods of imprisonment in Nottingham and Derby. [2] [7]

In 1650, after his imprisonment in Derby, a Justice nicknamed him and his followers Quakers, because of their tendency to tremble in their gatherings. [2]

In 1651 George Fox refused an offer of freedom from gaol in Derby if he fought as a captain for the parliamentary side in the period that led up to the 1651 Battle of Worcester. [8] [2]

North of England

Finally freed in late 1651, George Fox moved the centre of his activity to the North of England. In Lancashire and Westmorland he attracted an increasing number of listeners and followers. From these came many of the group of early Quaker missionaries known as the 'Valiant Sixty'. [2]

In the summer of 1652 he came to Swarthmoor Hall, Lancashire, the home of Thomas and Margaret Fell. Margaret soon became a staunch adherent. Her husband, Thomas, did not join the movement. He was a judge, and this gave some protection to the incipient movement. [2]

Meeting with Oliver Cromwell

In 1653 George Fox was arrested on his way to London, and escorted to the capital. This did not stop him proselytising as he went. In London, he spent most of a morning with Oliver Cromwell on 9 March 1654, and this led to his release. [2] [9]

Difficulties between George Fox and James Nayler

By 1655 James Nayler, a charismatic Quaker figure and a prolific writer, was very active in London and a set of largely female supporters grouped round him. In 1656 they started to disrupt Quaker gatherings to promote James Nayler as head of the Quaker movement. [2] Nayler himself refused to speak against other Quaker leaders. [10]

At the end of 1655 George Fox went to the south-west of England. He was arrested in Cornwall and held in Launceston prison. In London disputes between the supporters of Nayler and those of other Quaker leaders became more intense. James Nayler attempted to travel to visit Fox and heal the breach, but was arrested and imprisoned at Exeter, Devon. On his release in September 1656, George Fox went to see Nayler in Exeter. The meeting did not go well. [2] [10] Fox offered his hand for Nayler to kiss as an acknowledgement of Fox's superiority in the Quaker movement, and, when Nayler refused, Fox sarcastically offered him his boot to kiss instead. [2] [10] [11]

Nayler was released in October 1656 and entered Bristol in a procession which was interpreted as a blasphemous re-enactment of Christ's entry into Jerusalem. [2] [10] During Nayler's subsequent trial, harsh treatment and imprisonment, Fox had virtually no contact with him. Their quarrel was formally patched up in 1659 or early 1660 after Nayler was freed. [2] [10] [12]

George Fox himself, in his Journal, passes very quickly over the difficulties between him and Nayler in two paragraphs, confining himself to statements of the most general kind, [13] but it was a major episode in the first years of the Quaker movement.

Quaker Organisation

The Nayler controversy, and continuing threats of splits and divisions, led George Fox to give the Quaker movement more structure over the years that followed [14] , leading to the institution of the Monthly and Quarterly Meetings. [2] [15] He also introduced Quaker marriage certificates, partly to counter accusations of immorality among Friends. [2]


In 1659, after Oliver Cromwell's death, George Fox wrote a pamphlet, Fifty-Nine Particulars for the Regulating [of] Things, in which he asked the Rump Parliament, among other things, to engage in major redistribution of wealth. [2]

Following the Restoration, Quakers, along with other groups which did not adhere to the Church of England, were viewed with considerable suspicion and subject to periods of fierce persecution. Some suspected them of revolutionary tendencies. George Fox and Richard Hubberthorne issued another pamphlet to try and assure the authorities of Quakers' peaceful intentions - A Declaration from the Harmles & Innocent People of God, called Quakers. This included a statement of the pacifism with which Quakers have been associated ever since. [2] [16] [17]

Persecution and Imprisonment

This pamphlet did nothing to appease the authorities, although Charles II was inclined towards religious toleration. In 1662 an Act of Parliament specifically against the Quakers was passed [2] [18] , and further persecution followed. [2] George Fox himself was imprisoned again three times, twice between 1664 and 1666, and again from 1673 to 1675. The conditions in which he was held were often harsh, and his health suffered. [2]

Over this period George Fox wrote many Epistles, some addressed to people in faraway countries. [2] He also engaged, during his times of freedom, in missionary activity, including a visit to Ireland in 1669 [19] and, from 1671 to 1673, going with a group of Quakers to the Caribbean and North America. [2] [20]


On 27 October 1669 George Fox married Margaret (Askew) Fell, widow of Judge Thomas Fell of Swarthmoor, Lancashire. The marriage took place at Bristol, Gloucestershire. [21] [22]

Last Years

George Fox's last years were spent largely in London, and in Surrey and Essex where two of his stepdaughters lived, though he did visit Denmark and the Netherlands. [2]

When William Penn was granted Pennsylvania in 1681, he allotted an area of land to George Fox. [2]

George Fox lived to see Quakers granted religious freedom following the accession of James II and then of William III. [2]

Death and Burial

George Fox died on 13 January 1691. [23] [24] [25] He was interred in the Quaker Burying Ground, Bunhill Fields, three days later [23] , in the presence of many mourners. [2] [25]

George Fox - History

Men’s baseball began in 1903. George Fox has long taken pride in its baseball team and grew especially fond of the program when it experienced a period of consistent victory in the early 2000s. The team participated in 8 NCAA Division III National Tournaments, won seven Northwest Conference Championships, and achieved seven top 25 national rankings during the decade. All of this culminated in 2004 when the team won the NCAA Division 3 national championship.

The basketball team began in 1898 but without proper facilities so they did not participate in games against other colleges. In 1904 the students came together and built a new gymnasium that would allow other collegiate teams to compete on campus. The success of the University’s men’s basketball team can be traced all the way back to 1916 when they defeated Oregon Agricultural College to become State Champions. Although the sport has changed drastically since then, the program has achieved many victories along the way. In 1972, led by coach Lorin Miller, the Bruins faced a difficult season, but rallied to win the regional championship and to become the first GFC team to compete in an NAIA national tournament. In 1976, Paul Cozens became the first George Fox athlete to be awarded the NAIA All-American honors. Just over a decade later, the 1988 men’s team made it to the NAIA district finals and was able to compete in the NCCAA national tournament. In 2000, the team made 10th at nationals.

Created in 1966, George Fox’s cross country team was destined for success. In 1984 and 1985, Scott Ball was named Academic All-American within the NAIA, and in 1985, Jerred Gildehaus brought home victory in the NAIA regional championship. By 1990, the team had reached success, the men’s team placed fifth in the NAIA national championships.

Began in 1894 with their first intercollegiate game against Willamette University, which Pacific College lost 16-0. The football team won their first conference victory. Football was no longer offered as a sport in 1969. It was brought back in 2014.

Began in 2008. In the 2010 season the team made 7th place overall at the Northwest Conference.

Established in 1969 to replace Football as the Fall sport. The first team existed only as a club, and was not funded by the college as an athletic program. This was the case for nearly ten years until it was granted team status in 1977, although it switched between the two statuses periodically through the mid-1980s. The program began to gain momentum during the 80s, taking on Tim Tsondirates as assistant coach in 1985, and winning the NCCAA championship in 1988 and 1990. Two of George Fox’s greatest athletes, Andy Leveine and his brother Dan, participated in the program during this time. While Andy was named NCCAA player of the year in 1986 and 1988, Dan Leveine became the nation’s top scorer and All-Time College Scorer in 1991. Under great leadership, the soccer team played in the NCCAA national championship in 1988. They won the NCCAA title at nationals in 1991. And by 1993 the George Fox soccer team was able to secure their place as 25 th in the entire nation.

Started in 1897. Tennis became a varsity sport in 1966. In the 2010 season Scott Barnett was named second on the All-Northwest Conference Men's Tennis Team for the second year in a row.

Pacific College’s first track meet was against Willamette University in 1896. In 1969, Dave McDonald, who was later admitted into the NAIA hall of fame, placed third in the national championships for pole-vaulting. In 1973, the NAIA named George Fox’s Curt Ankeny, also in the NAIA hall of fame, Regional Athlete of the Year for All Sports. Following this, Gregg Griffin was an outstanding Track performer in 1979 when the men's track team brought their first NAIA district 2 championship, and track coach Rich Allen won District Coach of the Year for All Sports in 1978. Rich Allen was inducted into the NAIA coaches’ Hall of Fame in 1981.

Men's wrestling became a varsity sport in 1965.

Women’s basketball began in 1938. From 1964 to 1968, the women’s team won the Women’s Conference of Independent Colleges title four years in a row. In the following years, the team made the NCAA “Elite 8” ranking five times, competed in the NCAA National Tournament 10 times, won nine Northwest Conference Championships, and has been in the top 25 national ranking 10 times. Perhaps the greatest achievement of this prestigious program is the Bruins 2009 undefeated season from which they won the NCAA Division III National Championship.

Women's cross country was added as a sport in 1979. The 1988 women’s cross country team, who won the NCCAA national title. From this victory, track star Jill Beals was able to secure 2nd place in the NAIA national cross country meet during the same year. By 1990, the team had reached success, the women’s team placed sixth in the NAIA national championships.

Began in 2007. In 2009 the women's golf team made the top half of every tournament they attended. The 2010 season was great for the girls golf team as they tied for first place at the Northwest Conference.

Was added to George Fox sports in 2014.

In 1990, the college initiated a women’s soccer program which produced players such as Gegi Ward, who made the NAIA All District 2 team in 1992 and 1993, and Karli Harshman, the all-time leading scorer in Bruins women’s soccer history.

Was added to the offered sports in 1935. In 1969, they had an undefeated season. The softball team made Second in the Conference of Independent Colleges in 1979.

Women’s tennis association was organized in 1912. Molly Beaumont made second in the All-Northwest Conference Women's Tennis Team in 2010.

Fox created a women’s track team in 1964. In 1979, the team won the WCIC Championship, they did the same in 1980. Paula Wittenberg took 2 nd place nationally for discus in 1984 and ’85, and won All-American Honors for both years. Similarly, Jill Beals won the national championship in the 10,000 meter race in 1989. Beals too was awarded All-American Honors for her athletic achievements. In 2013, the legacy of these athletes continued as the GFC women’s track team won the Northwest Conference Championships for the third consecutive year.

Volleyball games began in 1924. As early as the 1965 undefeated season, George Fox’s volleyball program has achieved success. This program claimed the national NCCAA title twice, once in 1984 and again in 1987. At the end of the same decade, Denise Vernon and Melody McMaster won All-American honors for GFC. 1998 marks the only time a GFU volleyball reached the NAIA national tournament, in which they ranked 10th. In the same season, they brought home the Northwest Conference Championship for the first time in the sports history.

Women's field hockey was added as a sport in 1966. In 1975, the team tied for First place in the league. 1980 was the last year of women's field hockey.

George Fox

I n the year of 1647, a large man with piercing eyes named George Fox, started preaching throughout the towns and villages of England. He prayed and fasted often, traveling with no other companion but his Bible. He proclaimed a gospel of purity, power and repentance.

When George Fox began preaching, the churches were for the most part dead and bound in man-made traditions and formalism. When the Church drifts into formalism, the world drifts into further ungodliness. The methods and appearance of George Fox to some, seemed quite offensive and extreme. It is sometimes necessary for God’s prophets to be unconventional in order to thoroughly awaken the indifferent and hard hearted.

A spiritual experience

Soon after George Fox began to preach, he had a remarkable spiritual experience that lasted fourteen days. A certain Mr. Brown, while on his death bed prophesied many great things concerning Fox. “When this man was buried,” says Fox, “a great work of the Lord fell on me.” During this mighty baptism of the Spirit, Fox received a remarkable gift of discernment. “He seemed to be able to read the character of men by looking at them.” Miraculous healings also accompanied his ministry. Through prayer and the laying on of hands, the sick were often healed and devils were cast out to the glory of Christ.

When George Fox preached men would shake and tremble. “The name Quaker was given to Fox and his followers because of the quaking of the men who came to scoff but stayed to pray.” This remarkable power seemed to accompany the preaching of Fox wherever he went.

The life of a 17 th century revivalist

Fox preached that Jesus Christ is the author of a faith which purifies and gives victory over sin. He fervently exhorted men to pursue complete holiness rather than empty religious ceremonies. As a result, he was often beaten, stoned and driven out of town. It is estimated that perhaps no other man since the time of the Reformation was persecuted and imprisoned as often as George Fox. He usually went about the country on foot, dressed in his famous suit of leather clothes, which it is believed he made himself. He often slept outside under a tree or in some haystack. Fox also often pointed out that what was commonly called the Church was only a building. He boldly declared that only the fervent believers of Christ were the living stones of the true Church.

His prayer life

“Above all George Fox excelled in prayer.” It was his habit to wait in silence for the movement of the Holy Spirit and then begin to pray, causing whole congregations to be shaken and humbled under the hand of God Almighty. “As he prayed the power of God came down in such a marvelous manner the very building seemed to rock.” Through the ministry of George Fox, a glimmer of Apostolic power was revealed to seventeenth century England. He was a man of the Spirit in an age that emphasized theological and scriptural accuracy at the expense of the power of the Holy Ghost. He always stressed the importance of a Spirit-filled life and refused to let dead orthodoxy be a veil for the works of the flesh.

If we as believers are content with a gospel that merely comforts our conscience and perseveres our traditions, then we are also content to forsake the gospel of Christ and the Apostles. God help us to truly seek the kind of praying and preaching that will once again make men tremble in the presence of Jesus Christ.

References Used: “The Journal of George Fox” Edited by R. M. Jones, “George Fox - The Red Hot Quaker” by Major Douglas


"George Fox, the founder of the Society of Friends, came to Pembroke and Haverfordwest [Wales] in 1657 and, before long, there were Quaker meetings held at Redstone, near Narberth, Puncheston, St. David's, Newport, Jameston and Haverfordwest. By 1661 Lewis David of Llanddewi Velfrey and others were imprisoned for their beliefs and their persecution continued until they emigrated to Pennsylvania where David had purchased 3,000 acres of land from William Penn. There they settled in townships which they named Haverford and Narberth."


Works by Fox

A Battle-Dor for Teachers and Professors to Learn Singular and Plural (1660). Written with John Stubs and Benjamin Furly. Reprint, Menston, England, 1968. Shows that "thee & thou," as used by Quakers to all individuals, was true grammar in forty languages.

Catechism. London, 1657. Lessons for children.

Doctrinals (originally, Gospel Truth Demonstrated ). London, 1706. Ninety-nine of his 52 previously printed tracts.

Epistles. London, 1698. Four hundred letters, twenty-nine previously printed.

George Fox's Book of Miracles. Cambridge, U.K., 1973. Henry Cadbury's careful reconstruction of a lost Fox manuscript.

The Great Mistery of the Great Whore Unfolded. London, 1659. Refutes anti-Quaker tracts by Puritans, Baptists, and others.

Journal. Edited by Thomas Ellwood, with a preface by William Penn. London, 1694. Repeatedly reprinted in abridged form with prefaces by Rufus Jones, Henry Cadbury, et al. currently available from Friends United Press (Richmond, Ind., 1983).

The Works of George Fox. 8 vols. Philadelphia, 1831. Reproduces first editions of Fox's works uncritically.

Works about Fox

Bensen, Lewis. Catholic Quakerism. Philadelphia, 1968. Presents Fox's ethic.

Braithwaite, William C. The Beginnings of Quakerism (1912). Rev. ed. Cambridge, U.K., 1955. Presents historical facts and settings of Fox's life.

Braithwaite, William C. The Second Period of Quakerism (1919). Revised by Henry Cadbury. Cambridge, U.K., 1961.

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George Fox Middle will be the third to be renamed in Anne Arundel school system history

George Fox Middle will be the third school to be renamed in the school system’s history, as its namesake was a superintendent whose legacy was fighting against equal pay for Black and white teachers.

The Anne Arundel County Board of Education unanimously voted Wednesday to alter the name of the school, creating a committee to suggest a new name.

It was the third time the body had decided to amend a school’s name, schools spokesman Bob Mosier said. In this case, a name will be removed because students at the Pasadena school would not find pride in Fox’s championing of Jim Crow policies.

The first two times, names were added to honor Black educators who served their communities for decades. More than a decade ago, Harman Elementary School was renamed Frank Hebron-Harman Elementary. Hebron graduated from the school when it was segregated and had only three rooms, later returned to teach and continued as an educator in the county for 35 years.

In 1994, the board voted to add Walter S. Mills’ name to Parole Elementary School. Mills had taught at the school for 46 years before retiring.

Walter Mills and the NAACP sued the system over unequal pay in the late 1930s and won the case, with a court ruling the unequal pay scale for Black employees was unconstitutional.

Fox was the superintendent of schools at the time and made racist statements, including that his worst white teacher was better than his best Black teacher. The case was cited in the decision to remove Fox’s name from a school.

A committee established to review Fox’s legacy last summer presented its report to the board Wednesday evening, reading the report aloud for members. Fox was the district’s first superintendent, serving from 1916 to 1946.

At the time, there were districts and leaders making strides to address racial inequities Fox chose not to and contributed to generations of segregationist policies and practices, the committee wrote.

He advanced the educational and economic well-being of white people at the expense of Black people. Today, the student population of the school is about 10% Black, the committee said.

“Examining this legacy would not bring a sense of acceptance or inclusion to these students but instead continue to build the web of systemic racism that they have already experienced. According to the values of Anne Arundel County Public Schools, no member of the student body would feel pride in the legacy of George Fox,” the committee wrote.

The board unanimously approved a motion to accept the committee’s recommendation of renaming the middle school. The motion also created a new committee that will bring a replacement name to the board. Policy for naming a school requires the board to wait until after parents can meet, propose names and vote on them — something that will be complicated by the coronavirus pandemic.

The school’s parent-teacher-student association president Jamie Hurman-Cougnet told the board that they did not view their committee’s recommendation as part of a so-called “cancel culture” but rather were doing what was right for the children.

“To have students sit in a building named for a man who championed Jim Crow and segregationist policies and structures does not align with Anne Arundel County Public Schools core value of ‘all means all,’” she said.

District 3 Board of Education representative Corine Frank said she thinks they shouldn’t “evaluate someone’s life decades after death using a historical perspective” more than is truly necessary. This met that bar, she said, while also asking her colleagues to consider doing something to honor alumni who may have an attachment to the name or mascot, the foxes.

“This is not a fictional skunk, and this was not a subjective one-time comment,” she said. “When we find instances of true racism, we should acknowledge it, and we should acknowledge that it requires a high bar.”

Former board member Julie Hummer set the renaming process in motion last summer when she proposed creating the committee to examine Fox’s legacy.

Watch the video: FANTASTIC MR. FOX . George Fox v Reece Barlow Full Heavyweight Fight. Fox moves to 4-0 (July 2022).


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