Salinas school named after bandit changes name

SALINAS, Calif. (AP) — A central California elementary school will no longer be named after a man considered by some to be a rogue robber and murderer.

NBC-affiliate KSBW reports that Alisal School District officials voted Wednesday to change the name of Tiburcio Vasquez Elementary to Monte Bella Elementary.

Some call Vasquez a revolutionary man of the people who defended his land and the Spanish-speaking community from greedy white settlers. Others say he was a 19th century outlaw who terrorized Californians before he was convicted and hanged for murder.

Salina is an agricultural city and birthplace of writer John Steinbeck. It’s about 100 miles south of San Francisco.

The Alisal neighborhood is home to Mexican farmworker families.

The school’s name will change immediately, although signage and school clothing will take longer.

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