The Fairfax County School Board put an end to two plus years of debate and division by deciding to change the name of J.E.B. Stuart High School by a vote of 7-2 with two members abstaining late Thursday night.
The name change will take effect by no later than the beginning of the 2019-20 school year. As a compromise and cost saving measure, the motion passed suggested keeping the name “Stuart” and re-purposing it to a different historical figure. But the sentiment from the name change supporters was to completely disassociate from Stuart’s legacy and his allegiance to the Confederacy, and they aim the to not retain the Stuart name in a new incarnation. Instead, the community will find itself on the higher end of the $600k – $900k estimate pitched to the board at its July 17 work session in order to complete the school’s transformation and will also require substantial funding from private citizens to bring all those changes to fruition.
“We met with the Superintendent yesterday and said [keeping the name Stuart] is unacceptable,” Stephen Spitz said. “I’m obviously glad they decided to change the name, but now the hard work begins.”
The community will take its first steps to deciding a name this fall.