JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Throughout the long and emotional Duval school renaming process, Duval County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Diana Greene has mostly stayed on the sidelines and kept her thoughts about the process to herself.
But on The Morning Show on Wednesday, Greene opened up about the controversial push to change the names of nine schools, including six that honor Confederate Civil War leaders.
Students, teachers, alumni, PTA members and community members have been voting on whether or not to change the school names.
Greene said while the vote is an important step, the school district will take the entire renaming process under consideration.
“It’s more than just the vote. It’s looking at the community meetings, the information that has been shared over months, as well as the ballots,” Greene said. “And you know it’s going to be a very difficult decision, it’s going to be a very difficult situation. But I believe this board, our school board, is up for this challenge.”
Greene said no matter what the school board decides when the recommendation is made in June, there will need to be a healing process in the community.
“I believe that we have a community strong enough to come together and heal through this process and allow our students to move forward, allow our community to move forward. And I welcome that opportunity for community members who want to come together and to heal, heal old wounds, heal for our students,” Greene said.
The Florida Superintendent of the Year added that she has been impressed by how students have stepped up this year and made their voices heard.
“We have to try to understand their perspective and the goal of the whole process is to understand everyone’s perspective,” Greene said.
Community voting for the four schools left — including Robert E. Lee High, Andrew Jackson High and Jean Ribault Middle and High schools — closes on Friday.
All of the schools under consideration for a name change will then submit the results of the balloting process to the superintendent by May 17 and the school board will vote on the district’s recommendation during a regular school board meeting in June.
Greene initially came on The Morning Show to talk about enrollment for kindergarten students which opened Monday. You can watch the full interview above.