DCPS hosting more meetings on renaming some public schools

Four schools to hold meetings Wednesday night over renaming proposal

Duval County Public Schools is hosting the first, in a series of community meetings about renaming schools named after Confederate leaders. The first meeting is about renaming Robert E. Lee High School.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Duval County Public Schools is hosting community meetings over renaming Robert E. Lee High School, Stonewall Jackson and Joseph Finegan Elementary School, and Jefferson Davis Middle School.

A sizable number of people on both sides of the issue are expected to turn out for the meetings. At least one organized group, Save The School Names, plans to attend the meeting and advocate for keeping Robert E. Lee the name of the high school. (An earlier version of this story incorrectly said that Save The School Names would protest outside. The group wants it known that it will make its views known during the meeting, not by protesting.)

Save The School Names says on their website, “renaming the targeted schools will disrupt their historic identities, decimate alumni financial support, and waste upwards of $2 million”

The Northside Coalition, supporting the name changes, does plan a protest outside the meeting. It said in a statement “Black students should not be forced to go to a school named after a white man who did not believe in racial equality; a man who actually said slavery was ordained by God.”

The Duval County School Board voted last year to explore renaming schools named after confederate leaders. The district is following a step-by-step process, as follows:

  • The first step which is on-going, schools considering a name change are holding community meetings to gather feedback.
  • Then stakeholders will recommend new names to the advisory committee.
  • The advisory committee creates a list of possible names for the school community to vote on.
  • The superintendent will receive the results of the vote and make a final recommendation to the school board.

Joseph Finegan Elementary School

• 4 p.m. in the cafeteria

Stonewall Jackson Elementary School

• 5 p.m. in the cafeteria

Jefferson Davis Middle School

• 5 p.m. in the cafeteria

Robert E. Lee High School

• 6 p.m. in the auditorium

Nine schools in total are up for consideration to have their names changed. To see the upcoming meetings, go to the DCPS website.

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