Should a Fairfax Co. school keep its Confederate name? It’s decision day

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WASHINGTON — As arguments continue nationwide over whether Confederate monuments and tributes should be taken down, Thursday is a decision day for one Northern Virginia school.

The Fairfax County School Board will weigh a measure on J.E.B. Stuart High School that requests “that the Stuart community consider ‘Stuart High School’ as the new name.”

Also, under the proposal, a name change would take effect no later than the beginning of the 2019 school year.

The Falls Church school, which is named after a Confederate general, opened in 1959. Last July, the school board created a working group to look at the pros and cons of a possible name change and to figure out if there is community support for it.

One year and numerous community meetings later — many of which included loud outbursts and protest signs — board members are finally scheduled to vote on the issue during Thursday night’s meeting at Jackson Middle School in Falls Church.

Those in favor of a name change say it must be done to reflect the school’s diversity and promote a welcoming atmosphere.

Those in the “keep the name” camp point to a survey done in 2016 that found just 35 percent in favor of a name change.

In 2015, two graduates of the school — actress Julianne Moore and producer Bruce Cohen — launched a petition calling for a name change.

The petition, which has more than 35,000 supporters, calls for the school to be renamed in honor Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall.

The post Should a Fairfax Co. school keep its Confederate name? It’s decision day appeared first on WTOP.

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