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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- One of the longest standing controversies in Jacksonville is expected to be at the center of a meeting Monday.

The school advisory council of Forrest High School on Firestone Rd. is coming together at 5 p.m. to possibly vote on giving the school a new name.



Currently, it is named after Nathan Bedford Forrest, who served as a Confederate General in the Civil War.



Forrest also served as the first Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.



People have argued for years that a place of learning should not share ties with a white supremacy group.



They argue the name is dated and offensive to Jacksonville's African-American community and many students at the school.



But supporters contend changing the name would be like erasing history.



Supporters also argue Forrest cut ties with the KKK later in his life and once denounced the group's hateful actions.



More recently, a petition with more than 160,000 signatures on the website change.org thrust the issue back into the spotlight and put pressure on Duval County Public Schools leaders.



Opposing petitions on the same website have less than 50 signatures of support.



Regardless, a formal procedure is in place that must be followed in order to change the name of an existing school, and it does not include online petitions.



A vote from the school advisory council Monday would be the first step.



Then the issue would move to the school board, which would have to gather feedback from the public and ultimately vote.



Superintendent Dr. Nikolai Vitti has stated publicly that he supports renaming the high school, but only if it comes from within the community.



A timeline regarding how long this process might take is hard to nail down, Vitti has said.



Meanwhile, First Coast News has learned the group Jacksonville Progressive Coalition is planning a march at DCPS Headquarters.



It's set to begin at 5 p.m. Tuesday.



A vote to rename Forrest High School failed in 2007.

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