June 17, 2020 – On Tuesday, the Duval County School Board voted unanimously to start the process of considering renaming six schools with Confederate-era names.
These schools are:
- Joseph Finegan Elementary
- Stonewall Jackson Elementary
- Jefferson Davis Middle
- Kirby-Smith Middle
- J.E.B. Stuart Middle
- Robert E. Lee High
Does this mean the school names will now automatically be changed?
The answer is no. The vote is the first of a multi-step process outlined in Board Policy 8.59. This policy governs how the name of an existing school can be changed.
Below is a brief overview, but the entire policy can be viewed here: Board Policy 8.59
(Note – The actual policy is not broken down into steps. It is broken into steps in this article to help make the process more clear.)
- Step 1 – A written request is submitted to the School Board during a regular Board meeting. This request can come from the superintendent, a board member or a school-initiating entity (SAC, PTA, students, alumni, or community members within the school’s attendance zone).
- Step 2 – The School Board decides by majority vote whether to accept the request or refer to the superintendent for further review.
- Step 3 – If the School Board votes to accept the request, the superintendent develops a process for gathering community feedback from the school’s SAC, PTA, students, alumni, and community members within the school’s attendance zone).
- Step 4 – Using the community’s feedback, the superintendent submits a recommendation (can be a recommendation of a new name or a recommendation to keep existing name) to the School Board.
- Step 5 – The School Board votes on the superintendent’s recommendation.
After Tuesday’s vote, the process is now at Step 3. The superintendent and district leaders will now develop a process for engaging the stakeholders (SAC, PTA, students, alumni and community members within the school’s attendance zone).