Julianne Moore wants her high school’s name changed. Should schools bear …

26 Aug 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Julianne Moore Joins Petition To Rename School, Citing ‘History Of Racism’.

The Falls Church, Va., school, which Ms. Julianne Moore and producer Bruce Cohen both went to a northern Virginia high school that was named after a Confederate general, but they’re campaigning to change that. Moore attended from 1975 to 1977, is named for James Ewell Brown “Jeb” Stuart, who served as a general in the Confederate Army. “No one should have to apologize for the name of the public high school you attended and the history of racism it represents,” wrote Moore along with Hollywood producer and fellow J.E.B. Stuart High School alum Bruce Cohen, in the introduction to a Change.org petition to rename the school after Thurgood Marshall, the first African American Supreme Court Justice. According to The Washington Post, the school is now attended by a diverse group of students: 49 percent Hispanic, 11 percent black, 14 percent Asian, and 24 percent white.

I think the students of this school deserve better than that moniker.” Today the school, which Moore and Cohen attended in the 1970s, is 49% Hispanic, 14% Asian, 11% black and 24% white. This petition comes amid a national debate over the role of Confederate flags and other icons in the public sphere, that reached a new intensity after white supremacist Dylann Roof shot nine people at a Bible study session in the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C., in June. Now that’s changed … finally, there’s real momentum.” Stuart was a hero of the Confederacy, considered one of General Robert E Lee’s most important aides and known for his cavalier image.

Following the shooting, lawmakers from several states pushed for the removal of Confederate symbols, including flags and statues of Confederate leaders. While these events have prompted closer scrutiny of schools named after Confederate leaders, Moore and Cohen’s attempt to erase Stuart’s name is not without precedent. The petition has received almost 30,000 signatures since its launch four weeks ago, and has since been promoted by the likes of Russell Simmons and the local NAACP chapter. “We recognize that there are legitimate concerns of students, parents and communities in these schools and whether those names best reflect their community,” the statement read. “We also recognize that there are historic, legacy, and financial concerns in making changes in the names of schools. A study conducted by the data-driven news outlet Vocativ found at least 188 public and charter K-12 schools in the United States that are “named either explicitly for prominent Confederates or for places named after prominent Confederates.” Klan leader Forrest is still commemorated by the seven schools in Tennessee, Arkansas, and Mississippi.

Current and former students have initiated this dialogue and we will work with our communities to hear all sides of this discussion and work collaboratively to address this issue.” In 2007, the Manhattan Institute, a conservative think tank, found that the practice is becoming “increasingly rare.” The report found, for instance, five schools in Florida named after George Washington, and 11 named after manatees. “The names that school boards give to schools both reflect and shape civic values,” the report’s authors wrote. “They reflect values because naming a school after someone or something provides at least an implicit endorsement of the values that the name represents. And school names can shape values by providing educators with a teaching opportunity: teachers at a Lincoln Elementary, for example, can reference the school name to spark discussions of the evils of slavery and the benefits of preserving our union.” But some are not ready to give up what they consider to be a part of their heritage, and many Southerners do not view the Confederate symbols in a negative light, but rather as a remembrance of family members who fought in the Civil War. Lee’s name from “most schools, roads, and other institutions,” but that Confederate memorials should be preserved. “If we want to reduce racism,” Mr.

Brooks wrote, “we have to elevate the symbols that signify the struggle against racism and devalue the symbols that signify its acceptance,” Writing in the Atlantic, correspondent Ta-Nehisi Coates argued that blacks are not the only group victimized by the continued display of Confederate emblems. “The Confederate flag should not come down because it is offensive to African Americans,” he wrote. “The Confederate flag should come down because it is embarrassing to all Americans.”

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