A Virginia high school decided Thursday to drop three letters in its name to disconnect it from a Confederate general.
The Fairfax County School Board voted 6-5 to rename J.E.B. Stuart High School, named after Confederate general and slave-owner J.E.B. Stuart, by dropping “J.E.B.,” according to NBC Washinton. The decision not to adopt a new name entirely reduces the price of the name change, reported Burke Patch.
A petition by producer Bruce Cohen and actress Julianne Moore, both Stuart alumni, requested that the school rename itself after Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall and obtained over 35,000 signatures.
“This is obviously one of the deepest issues this board or any board in the nation can face,” said Scott Brabrand, Fairfax County Public Schools superintendent during a previous July meeting on the decision, according to DCW50. “It’s a national conversation.”
“The Civil War is long over. This is punishing the South. Abraham Lincoln didn’t want to punish the South,” said Chica Brunsvold, whose daughter attended the school. “Just because a couple Hollywood types say we should change — give me a break!”
Even though school board members discussed a potential name change for 2 years, some members believed the issue deserved more consideration. School board member Elizabeth Schultz believed the school’s 60-year existence merited more than 2 years of decision-making; her fellow member Thomas Wilson wanted a unanimous decision or one with very few detractors.
The new Stuart High School name could signify either the Stuart name, which has produced military heads since the Revolutionary War or Gilbert Stuart, a painter of presidential portraits, reported DCW50.
Board members speculated whether or not the name change, which is expected to take full effect by fall 2019, would spur a similar initiative to change the name of Robert E. Lee High School in Springfield, Va.
The Daily Caller News Foundation reached out to Fairfax County Public Schools for comment, but received none in time for press.
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