School board members are looking to name the Peace Center at Eastside High School after deceased principal Gerald Glisson.
Glisson died on May 3 after contracting the new coronavirus. He had served as the principal of operations at Eastside High School.
School board members said Glisson founded the Peace Center, which opened October 18, 2019, to facilitate conflict resolution among young people without physical violence. Students resolved their dispute through the use of so-called restorative justice practices.
“He actually created that space for students,” said school board president Kenneth Simmons. He also had teachers trained in restorative justice practices, he said.
Simmons said a committee met last week and recommended naming the Peace Center after the deceased principal.
After a physical fight broke out between Eastside High School and Dwight Morrow High School football players during a game in late October, Glisson had the offending players from both teams come to the Peace Center, sit in a peace circle, and resolve their conflict.
Simmons said the Peace Center originally started inside the Eastside High School building, but was later moved to the trailer on the school property that sits along Market Street.
Simmons said the Board of Education will take a vote on the naming during a meeting in August.
Meanwhile, councilwoman Lilisa Mimms is pushing to name the field house at Bauerle Fieldhouse on Oak Street after Glisson.
Glisson was born in Neptune. He later moved to Paterson.
Mimms’ measure is up for a vote on Tuesday. Although the school board’s measure contains a clear rationale for why the Peace Center is being named after Glisson, Mimms’ resolution does not.
Her resolution mostly lists his job titles at the school district. It also lists the names of his parents and wife. Her resolution states Glisson was a “stellar example of manhood, scholarship, perseverance and uplifting his community.”
Simmons said Glisson, who previously served as athletic director for the Board of Education, oversaw students practicing at the Bauerle Fieldhouse.
“He always wanted to make sure everybody got along,” said Simmons.
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