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The St. Paul school board on Tuesday signed off on a student-driven renaming of Ramsey Middle School to Hidden River school.

The name reflects the presence of an aquifer beneath Summit Avenue and was the overwhelming choice of staff and students who sought to distance the school from the name of Alexander Ramsey, the state's second governor.

Students pushed for the change because of Ramsey's call for the extermination of the Dakota people in Minnesota.

"We can make a difference by supporting and celebrating everyone," a statement from the school community said.

The change first was suggested by the district's Student Engagement and Advancement Board in 2016, but the effort didn't take off at the school level until 2020. Students and staff sifted through 208 name submissions initially.

Teresa Vibar, the school's principal, told board members Tuesday that the school prides itself on giving students the opportunity to express themselves, and that through the name change, they've seen they can make a difference in their community.

Five years ago, Minneapolis renamed its Ramsey Middle School in honor of Alan Page, the first Black Minnesota Supreme Court justice.