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Duval County Superintendent releases school name change recommendations

Activist groups urged Duval County Schools to change the names of schools that are named after controversial historic figures such as Confederate leaders.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Duval County Public School Superintendent Dr. Diana Greene has released recommendations that the School Board change the names of the six schools currently named for Confederate leaders.

The names were released via email Tuesday in a press release from DCPS.

  • Joseph Finegan Elementary School would become Anchor Academy
  • Stonewall Jackson Elementary School would become Hidden Oaks Elementary School
  • J.E.B. Stuart Middle School would become Westside Middle School
  • Kirby-Smith Middle School would become Springfield Middle School
  • Jefferson Davis Middle School would become Charger Academy
  • Robert E. Lee High School would become Riverside High School

The release says Greene is not recommending changes to Jean Ribault middle and high schools and Andrew Jackson High School.

The recommendations now go to the Duval County School Board for their action on June 1 at their regular meeting. This is when Greene will discuss these recommendations in-depth with the School Board.

RELATED: Duval County voters choose to rename six schools, keep three the same

“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,” Greene said. 

“We’ve had dozens of meetings, hours of public testimony and thousands of votes. All of this input has helped shape my recommendations, which I will discuss publicly with the Board next week.”

For the past several months, local activist groups have urged Duval County Schools to change the names of schools that are named after controversial historic figures, most notably leaders of the Confederacy.

Ben Frazier is the president and founder of the Northside Coalition and was a big part of the push behind the school name changes. 

“We need to actually reach out and touch the vision and the dream of racial justice and inclusion," Frazier said. “We don’t think that students should be forced to go to a school, a school named in honor of people who fought to keep us in chains.”