FCPS changes school naming policy

Manny Precht, Co-Editor in Chief

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It has been two years since the FCPS decision to J.E.B Stuart High School’s name to Justice, a decision that had been in the making for quite some time prior.

At an all-day county work session on Sept 17, the county board’s governance committee offered a new policy regarding the changing of school names.

The new policy stated that the school board would be allowed to consider a name change if the school or facility in question is repurposed for a new function or to “ensure consistency with our One Fairfax policy or when the Board
deems it appropriate.”

One Fairfax is a joint policy that commits county and school elected officials to considering issues of social and racial equity when making decisions and developing policies and programs.

The revision is fairly simple, described as a “two sentence change” by chairman of the governance board Sandy Evans.

In short, the bill addresses language that caused the debate of a name change for Justice High School to last over a two year period.

Two years later, Justice students still have opinions on their schools name change.

“In principle I was for it but it was expensive and I don’t really like our new name and mascot,” Justice senior Davis Kampschror said.

“It seemed like the name was going to be changed by the school board no matter what we said.”
Kampschror also commented on how the dynamic of the school has changed because of the name change.

“I think the different social groups have become more isolated from each other and it has gotten pretty polarized along political and racial lines,” Kampschror said.

It is common belief among Justice students that the name change procedure was carried out unfairly.

“I think it was executed unfairly, there was voting for the name change but the votes were negated and they chose Justice even though Stuart won the vote,” Justice sophomore Christian Brown-Vasquez said.

In time, it is possible that Justice will not be the only school in the area to receive a name change.

FCPS is considering renaming Robert E. Lee High School, located in Springfield, VA. On Oct 10, school board members discussed the possible name change for Lee.

Although a decision has not been made, talks are still in the words.

Even so, there’s already support for a name change at Lee on a Change.org petition from 2017 that has nearly 2,200 signatures.

In regards to Lee, there are starkly different opinions among FCPS residents; some concerned with the issue of money while others are concerned about the history behind these controversial school names.

Many students took an apathetic stance, common among uninformed students.

“I don’t really mind the name because the name of the school doesn’t determine my political or social standpoint,” Lee senior Daniel Tran said.

Having a racially charged motive when these schools are named, talks about name change makes sense.

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