The Gilbert school board had hundreds of high school names to choose from after about 2,800 community members suggested names through an online survey to replace the controversial Campo Verde High name.
Dozens of parents urged the board through e-mails and phone calls to choose another name for the district's fifth high school.
Almost 600 people suggested South Valley High as their top choice in the survey and e-mails to the district.
But in the end, the board stuck with its original decision and decided Tuesday to keep Campo Verde High as the name of the new high school scheduled to open next fall at Germann Road and Val Vista Drive.
"It's just ridiculous," said Angela Maher, one of the handful of parents who attended the board meeting. "The board is not there for the people. ... They decided what they wanted to do before the meeting."
Elaine Morrison, the board member who originally suggested the Campo Verde name, read from a lengthy prepared note Tuesday and suggested the board keep the Campo Verde name. None of the other four board members discussed any other name suggestions.
In her statement and in previous interviews, Morrison has said many of the e-mails from parents who were against the Campo Verde name lacked civility and any sense of history of the Gilbert area. She suggested the parents learn the "Character Counts" program that students learn in school and said they need to visit the Gilbert Historical Museum for a history lesson.
Morrison has been critical in the past of the names of many of the district's schools, and said Tuesday she was hoping for a name that's "not just one more street name" or named after a "subdivision fantasy."
Morrison said she chose Campo Verde, "green field" in Spanish, because of the area's farming and cultural history.
None of the parents in the audience volunteered to address the board during the meeting. However, the parents had plenty to say outside of the meeting after the board's decision.
Parent Stacie Moody questioned the "wasted taxpayer money" for the survey and said she was "surprised" the board didn't vote again on a name.
"This just shows the children's voice doesn't matter," said Moody, whose five children will attend the new high school. "It just shows students don't matter. It's just really sad and pathetic."
Alex Hambicki, a South Valley Junior High eighth-grader, said she was "disappointed" and thought it was "weird" the board didn't consider any other names.
"I felt like they didn't really try," said the 14-year-old. "I don't like the (Campo Verde) name. I think it sounds funny and silly. I would have preferred any other name."
The Campo Verde name struck a nerve with parents after the board chose the name Oct. 28. The parents said they didn't like the Campo Verde name because it didn't fit in with the area, wasn't attached to a district junior high school name and sounded too similar to Camp Verde High. The parents also complained that they didn't have a chance to give input for the high school's name.
In response, the board decided Nov. 4 to seek input from parents and the community on high school name suggestions, and bring the issue back to another board meeting.