LAS CRUCES, New Mexico (KTSM) – Las Cruces Public Schools discussed the possibility of changing the name of Oñate High School on Thursday.
The item was brought up after some concerned community members asked the school board to change the name.
Oñate High School is named after Juan De Oñate, a controversial Spanish conquistador who established the colony of New Mexico for Spain and became its first governor in 1598. Historians say Oñate is tied to violence. Oñate massacred the Acoma Pueblo tribe and reportedly chopped off the toes of surviving Acoma Pueblo tribe members.
During the meeting, LCPS board members said more community input is needed to consider whether or not to change the name. One possible name change that was brought up during the meeting is changing the school’s name to Organ Mountain High School.
LCPS said it would discuss the item again on July 21 when more input was shared. Board members also said more information was needed like cost factor and a timeline of on how long it would take for the name to change to take effect if it was improved.