The Duval County School Board in Florida has voted to rename six schools named after Confederate leaders. Community members urged for the change of nine schools in Jacksonville, which were tied to Confederate history or Indigenous people.
According to Jacksonville.com, on June 1 the board came to a 5-2 vote in favor of changing the name of six schools and keeping three school names in the district.
The educational institutions to be renamed are Robert E. Lee High School, Kirby-Smith Middle School, J.E.B Stuart Middle School, Jefferson Davis Middle School, Stonewall Jackson Elementary School and Joseph Finegan Elementary School.
“As a board and a community, we’ve done really hard things. But we can get this done,” School Board Chairwoman Elizabeth Andersen said. “We know who we want to be as a school district.”
All six Confederate schools were renamed tonight by the @Duvalschools board. The vote was 5-2 on each school.
— Jacksonville Public Education Fund (@JaxPEF) June 2, 2021
The change comes a year after community members requested the change. DCPS Superintendent Dr. Diana Greene set her recommendations based on community input.
Effective August 3, the schools will be named Riverside High School, Springfield Middle School, Westside Middle School, Charger Academy, Hidden Oaks Elementary School and Anchor Academy.
The cost of renaming the six schools is estimated at $825K. To cover the cost of painting, new uniforms, gym floors and signs featuring the new school names, the Jacksonville Public Education Fund launched the School Renaming Fund.
According to CNN, the Jacksonville Jaguars have offered to pay for the home athletic costs including athlete uniforms.
“I want to thank all of the people who participated in this process, and I want to thank the school leaders and district employees who have managed this over the last several months,” Dr. Greene said in a statement. “We’ve had dozens of meetings, hours of public testimony and thousands of votes.”