UNF students’ thoughts on renaming high schools named after Confederates



A statue of former Vice President John C. Calhoun, a South Carolina native, stands in the lobby of the Statehouse on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021, in Columbia, S.C. Republican South Carolina legislative leaders are unlikely this year to give permission to local governments or colleges who want to take down Confederate statues or rename buildings honoring segregationists. (AP Photo/Meg Kinnard)

Nathan Turoff, Features Editor

In recent years, statues, monuments, and other things celebrating Confederate leaders have been facing increasing scrutiny. This also includes things explicitly and intentionally named after them, like schools, public offices, and other things. This debate has extended to Jacksonville as well.


A few days ago, the Duval County School board approved changing the names of several different schools, including but not limited to: Jefferson Davis Middle, Stonewall Jackson Elementary, and Robert E. Lee High, named after the President of the Confederacy and their infamous generals, respectively.


Out of the nine schools on the table for renaming, only six were approved. Three of them will be keeping their names, the most notable of which being Andrew Jackson High, named after the controversial 17th President.


Many UNF students are Jacksonville natives, many of whom have attended these schools. Spinnaker reached out to them on whether or not they agreed with the changes, and what thoughts they had.

 Data from Spinnaker poll / Chart created by Nathan Turoff.

The majority of those polled approved of the changes, with over 80 percent agreeing with the changes. Some of the anonymous responses were:


“The changes are long past due.”


One student said “Change the names. we shouldn’t honor traitors and racist slaveowners any longer.”


Another Osprey mentioned “It’s a disgrace to our heritage to rename schools that have been named so for decades.”


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