Hammond School (South Carolina)
|Type||Independent, Day School|
|Headmaster||Christopher B. Angel|
|Grades||Pre-K through grade 12|
Red, Royal blue
Hammond School, originally James H. Hammond Academy, is a pre-K through 12 college preparatory day school in Columbia, South Carolina, founded in 1966. The school has a controversial history as a segregation academy, but is now better known for its athletic and academic accomplishments.
The school was founded in 1966 as a segregation academy in response to the court ordered racial integration of public schools. According to Tom Turnipseed, the first executive director of the South Carolina Independent School Association, James H Hammond's "name was chosen because his grandson contributed significant money to the school's founding, and Confederate big-wigs were favored as names for white-flight private schools started as part of the backlash to impending racial desegregation of public schools."
The school's enrollment surged in 1968 when details of the public school desegregation busing plan were released. One parent told that Los Angeles Times that she enrolled her children at Hammond Academy because "integration had turned the public schools upside down"
In 1972, Hammond Academy's tax exemption was revoked by the IRS when it refused to document that it had a racially nondiscriminatory admissions policy. In 1976, a school administrator told John Egerton the school did not want the tax exemption because the school was "better off without negroes". The administrator further opined that "segregation is coming back to this country" because it is a "more natural condition."
In the 1980s, under headmaster Nick Hagerman, Hammond Academy moved away from its segregationist roots. The school stopped flying the confederate flag in 1984 and was attempting to recruit minority students with scholarships. By 1988, the Hammond School had regained its tax exempt status.
In 1989, the board of trustees voted to change the school's name to Hammond School. According to Turnipseed, the name was changed in order to "moderate the shameful sensuality and radical racism of its namesake."
For the 2015–2016 school year, the Hammond School's student body was 82.2% white, 9.2% black and 4.5% Asian, with 3.3% of students being of two or more races. In contrast, in the city of Columbia, 40.3% of children under 18 were white, 52.6% were black, and 1.4% were Asian, with 2.9% being of two or more races.
In 2018, the school won the SCISA class 3A football championship. As of 2018[update], the Hammond School has won 16 football championships, including 6 consecutive championships from 2006 to 2012.
The Skyhawks won the boys basketball SCISA class 3A championship in 2015.
The Skyhawks won the girls' basketball SCISA class 3A championship in 2018, the 11th title but the first since 1993, the last of four consecutive championships.
The Hammond School is located in the Woodland Estates neighborhood in eastern Columbia, SC. The campus is 219 acres (89 ha), including a 112 acres (45 ha) farm. The farm has hosted equestrian competitions.
In 2017, the city of Columbia approved a plan to add 26,000 square feet (2,400 m2) of buildings to the campus, including an enlarged gym and new classroom building.
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- Charlie Todd, comedian
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