Allow for special characters and accent marks in names

Please allow for special characters and accent marks in student and parent names. We can currently add special characters to records in BEM and RE.

  • Bryan Lorenzo
  • Oct 31 2022
  • Under consideration
  • Attach files
  • Michael Lindner commented
    21 Jul, 2023 08:36pm

    This is an urgent issue - Emily's comment reflects much of what I would say, and this issue is present for staff and faculty as well. Misspelling an employee's name is inherently problematic in a workplace, and as Emily said, because this issue largely affects individuals whose identities are not rooted in American English, it contributes to white supremacy culture.

    I understand that implementing new character types is a technical challenge, and not just a decision that Blackbaud needs to make, but this issue must be prioritized. Approximating a name by replacing characters with other letters is just misspelling it and is not an acceptable long-term solution.

  • Emily Knowlton commented
    8 Jun, 2023 02:31pm

    It is imperative that accent marks in student names be allowed on Blackbaud. This is an issue of supporting identity development in young children, not simply an outdated programming pitfall.

    Names are a primary way that children are known and tracked through our 14-year school, and Blackbaud's inability to recognize and utilize letters with accents means that children's names will be incorrect and likely misunderstood and mispronounced particularly those whose heritage and identities are not rooted in American English.

    By excluding characters with accents, Blackbaud is putting countless children in the position of fighting to be known for who they are and where they come from; making it possible for particularly the youngest to learn to spell their names incorrectly at school because teachers get incorrect information on class lists and databases. Teachers can't advocate for children if the system doesn't reflect their names accurately, because they just won't know. These system failures may be damaging or erasing facets of children's identities, families, and histories.

    Systems are meant to work for people, to support them. Please change the system as soon as possible to support our children and families.