EMAIL THE SCHOOL BOARD
Dear [Insert School Board Rep Name]:
My name is [insert] and I am a resident of your district. [Insert if applicable: I am also the parent/grandparent of a student who attends…].
I am writing to voice my strong support for the renaming of nine Duval County Public Schools. Renaming these nine schools is an important step forward in creating a more inclusive city for ALL of Jacksonville’s residents, particularly for the students who attend these schools.
Recently, students who attend these schools, specifically Robert E. Lee High School, have been very clear and vocal that they do not want the name of someone who played a significant, controversial role in history atop the building where they come to learn every day, or permanently emblazoned on their diplomas. We – as adults, parents and educators – must listen to and amplify their voices and take action to ensure they are heard.
As history is important, it must also be noted that several of these school names were deliberately selected during the Jim Crow era and Civil Rights Movement to communicate resistance to racial equity and justice and to send a message to the Black community about their belonging. Quite simply, the context in which many of these school names were chosen – and the very cause these Confederate individuals supported – are in fact about oppression and racism.
I ask that you please vote in favor of renaming these nine public schools today. We need to honor our students’ voices, today and in the future.