FAIRFAX CO., VA (WUSA9) - A few weeks before the violence in Charlottesville, Fairfax County had it's own divisive, yet peaceful battle over a Confederate name.
The school board voted to change the name of J.E.B. Stuart High School. Now, a new superintendent is guiding the process to pick a new name.
In his first television interview, Superintendent Scott Brabrand told WUSA9's Northern Virginia Bureau Chief Peggy Fox how he intends to keep things peaceful.
On July 27, 2017, the Fairfax County School Board voted to change the name of J.E.B. Stuart High School. The next day, Superintendent Brabrand laid out a swift time-table for picking a new name.
The following is a Q and A with Superintendent Brabrand:
Peggy Fox: "Why did you move so quickly?"
Superintendent Scott Brabrand: "People can accept a yes or no, but they need a decision to understand the rationale behind it."
PF: "Watching Charlottesville, how does that affect what we do here?"
SB: "I think we have to reflect on that. It's a conversation we were already having in Fairfax County...By moving swiftly, and transparently, we can help bring people together and not apart."
PF: "Can we learn from Charlottesville?"
sb: "We've got to be considerate all the voices...so we don't let hatred rule the day...I do think Charlottesville has given folks a renewed focus on the importance that we bring people together in conversation so that things don't boil over into violence and death."
PF: "One of the sticking points for the School Board was Robert E. Lee High School. Have you heard if there's any movement to change that name and how does it work?"
SB: "We have a regulation that really says we're going to listen to those that are closest to the community that have representation on the school board. I haven't heard anything from any school board members about any other schools, or from any community members at this point."
Brabrand says he's hopeful fusing from the private sector will pay for the J.E.B. Stuart name change.
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