A tumultuous fight to change the name of JEB Stuart High School is coming to a end soon. The Fairfax County School Board is set to vote on a new name next Thursday, October 26, 2017.
Today, board members had one last go-around to reveal their positions. One choice is to drop the J.E.B. and keep "Stuart High School." That option actually received the most points in a community vote last month.
Springfield District Board Member Elizabeth Schultz said she would vote for Stuart High School because of the community support.
Resident Stephen Spitz said keeping "Stuart" would be "Idiotic."
"It's inappropriate that in 2017, especially after we had Nazis with Tikki torches marching in Charlottesville yelling racists and anti-semetic slogans, it's inappropriate to name a high school after a Confederate General," he said. "Why would they spend two and half years voting to change the name and then not changing the name. It would be ridiculous."
Two names, Barbara Rose Johns and Justice Thurgood Marshall together got more support than Stuart in the community vote.
The problem with Justice Marshall is that already is a Marshall Hhigh high school in Fairfax County. But they would solve that problem by calling it Justice High School.
New at-largest school board member Karen Keys-Gamarra supports naming the school after the Supreme Court Justice who was instrumental in desegregating the schools with his vote and leadership on the historic Brown vs. Board of Education case.
"Thurgood Marshall was a legal hero in our society. He was endangering his life going into ares where he was not welcome to gather gathering legal evidence so that we could stand here today," said Keys-Gamarra.
She because renaming the school Justice High School will correct a wrong.
Another name that has some board support is Col. Louis Mendez. His children, Tina Mendez Morgan and Luis G.Mendez III say his steller career in the military and then director of the Nation's Right to Read program in the Department of Education make him a great choice, along with the fact that he raised his kids in Falls Church and sent his children to J.E.B. Stuart High School.