Off The Record w/ Matt Briscoe: What’s in a name?


Matt Briscoe
Publisher/Managing Editor
The Southside Light

This week we all heard the news that a brand new Royal baby was born in London and that in the coming days, the Royal family will stand upon the steps of their palace and give the child a name that the entire world will come to know him by. But that leads to an interesting point—what’s in a name?

I recently took a keen interest in my family heritage, largely because I felt encouraged to do so by leaders of my chosen religious faith. I’ve learned that there is an awful lot behind the meaning of a name.

A recent news article in area community newspaper asked folks on the what do they call themselves? To me that is an interesting question. To me, folks who live on the Island are just known as  “Island Folks” or “Islanders.” Those of us here on the city’s south side are generally called “Southsiders.” But there lies the question: How do names identify us?

That question has been lingering in my mind a lot here lately as I look at the topic of inclusion. A name really does have significant meaning.

Take for instance Corpus Christi ISD. They operate under a broad scope that encompasses many thousands of children and parents from all walks of life. Here on the south side we have Veterans Memorial, Carroll and a host of lower grade schools. There is a sense of neighborhood pride that comes from only having a strong, unified name. But then there lies another question: Flour Bluff.

That’s a pretty broad district in itself but the name suggests that it exists to serve only the Flour Bluff general community. Next year, kids from all over will have the option to attend that district without an added financial burden beyond associated transportation costs and what not. But then there are those kids who live out on the Island and whose parents and peers already pay hefty doses of school taxes. Do those kids REALLY feel included or are they just looked at as “Island Kids” who are just another demographic neighborhood marker?

Now, it’s highly likely that those kids who live on the Island and those who will be transferring in next year will never give this a second thought until later in life. But doesn’t the name “Flour Bluff ISD” make you think pretty much as being neighborhood specific?

Why not consider a move to be more inclusive than exclusive? Why not entertain the idea of “Flour Bluff/North Padre ISD” or maybe “Laguna Shores ISD” or something like that? How about something that really represents the community that it serves?

Now, I’m not such a simpleton to think that it’s that easy to do, largely because you have to change hearts and open minds to new ideas. Often, that is the hardest part. But in the end, what does it hurt? Absolutely nothing, except a few feelings or outdated traditions.

I think it bears to note that some think that as an editor I’m picking on this district and for the record, I am not. My child and my money both go there which, like you entitles me to some say so in the matter. I for one don’t see any problem with change or developing new traditions—isn’t that how we evolve and develop?

But for once, I propose that we stop and focus for a minute on the meaning of a name and how we can make a move to include all of those who have a stake and a pride in what they rightfully love. Besides, despite how you feel about it those children, regardless of where they call home are our future and you and I are the past. Try that one on for size and let’s see how it fits.

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