A Florida school board is renaming middle and high schools in honor of Confederate leaders

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After discussing the matter for a 12 months, the Duval County Faculty Board in Jacksonville permitted the district’s suggestions to take away and substitute names on Tuesday.

The faculties that shall be renamed are Joseph Finegan Elementary Faculty, Stonewall Jackson Elementary Faculty, JEB Stuart Center Faculty, Kirby-Smith Center Faculty, Jefferson Davis Center Faculty, and Robert E. Lee Excessive Faculty.

“The extent of neighborhood engagement on this course of was in contrast to something we now have ever skilled,” stated college board president Elizabeth Andersen in an announcement. “The help of organizations just like the Jax Chamber, the Florida Occasions-Union and the NAACP present how important this was to our future as a neighborhood. Each message we ship to our youngsters should be about inclusion and belonging. Take away names Accomplice from our faculties assist to realize this “.

1000’s of stakeholder teams, together with college students and neighborhood members, participated within the voting course of to supply enter on whether or not or not they wished to alter the names of their faculties.
“I wish to thank all of the individuals who have participated on this course of, and I wish to thank the varsity leaders and district workers who’ve managed it over the previous few months,” DCPS Superintendent Dr Diana Greene stated in a precedent. declaration. “Now we have had dozens of conferences, hours of public testimony and 1000’s of votes.”
Colleges have been given new names – Anchor Academy, Hidden Oaks Elementary Faculty, Westside Center Faculty, Springfield Center Faculty, Charger Academy and Riverside Excessive Faculty – efficient August 3.

Board member Ashley Smith Juarez requested to alter the names of three different faculties: Jean Ribault Center Faculty, Jean Ribault Excessive Faculty and Andrew Jackson Excessive Faculty. Ribault and Jackson have been individuals “chargeable for the systematic marginalization and killing of indigenous individuals,” Juarez stated in his request.

“After dozens of conferences, hours of public testimony and a large stakeholder voting course of, the advice to the council was to go away these three names and alter the unique six confederates,” the county public college spokesman advised CNN. by Duval, Tracy Pierce. “The Council permitted that suggestion and people names will not change.”

The Jacksonville Public Schooling Fund (JPEF) launched the Faculty Renaming Fund to cowl the prices of renaming the six faculties. It will embody portray, altering uniforms, health club markings and flooring to match the brand new college names.

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The Jacksonville Jaguars have additionally supplied to pay for athletic and cheerleading uniforms for the renaming faculties.

Regardless of the decision, the choice didn’t come with out opposition.

Because the district started to carry public conferences on whether or not to rename Robert E. Lee Excessive Faculty, the dialogue at these conferences grew. more and more heated.
Opponents of the try to rename have brought about controversy statements resembling “Jesus himself was by no means towards slavery” and “You can not erase historical past”.

George Floyd’s Influence

George Floyd’s demise has led to removal – by protesters in some circumstances and by metropolis leaders in others – by controversial statues which have angered some residents for many years, if no more.
Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, died Might 25, 2020 in Minneapolis. Throughout the arrest, Floyd was held by the knee of a Minneapolis police officer for more than nine minutes. His demise sparked widespread protests in america, with individuals calling for an finish to police brutality towards individuals of shade.
Confederate statues are coming down after George Floyd's death.  Here's what we know
After Floyd’s demise, at the very least 168 Accomplice symbols it has been removed or moved from public locations, in line with the Southern Poverty Regulation Heart.
“I feel we have been all touched by the video recording of George Floyd’s homicide in Might of 2020,” stated board member Warren Jones, who sponsored the request to alter Accomplice names. a board meeting. “For these of us who grew up right here like me, I used to be grateful however very stunned when [Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry] eliminated the Accomplice statue from what was often known as Hemming Park on the time. These two occasions prompted me to ask this council … to rename the six DCPS faculties named after Accomplice officers. “

“It was clear to me that with the elimination of the Accomplice monuments in Jacksonville that the main target would shift to the varsity board and I felt we must be proactive and look into the historical past of these faculties named after Accomplice officers,” he stated.

1000’s of youngsters in america attend faculties that bear the identify of confederate leaders who fought to protect slavery.
Greater than 240 faculties in america are named in honor of Confederate leaders, in line with Equal Justice Initiative (EJI). About half of those faculties serve predominantly black or non-white college students.

Harmeet Kaur of CNN contributed to this report.

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