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J.E.B. Stuart High School Name Change Still Uncertain as Vote Nears

(Photo: Drew Costley/News-Press)

A Fairfax County School Board work session Monday afternoon offered little clarity to either the “Keepers” or “Changers” in how the school system will resolve the two-plus year debate over changing the name of J.E.B. Stuart High School in the Mason District of Fairfax County. The decisive vote is expected to be taken at the board’s next regular meeting on July 27.

Mason District representative Sandy Evans presented a motion attempting to define a “compelling need” to change Stuart’s name due to its ties to the Confederacy and how those values are opposite of Fairfax County schools. Following Evans’ motion, the board received a cost estimate of the school name change which ranged from $600,000 to $900,000.

The debate over Evans’ motion at the work session revealed the board’s differing stances on the matter. Some members felt the compelling need was well articulated and agreeable, while others felt that its mentioning of the Confederacy could snowball into a campaign to rename over 30 schools in the county with ties to either Confederate figures or values. The board agreed that a clear consensus was needed on the matter, and not a sharply-split final vote.