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Wednesday, August 23, 2017

FCPS outlines procedure for community meeting on renaming Stuart High School

JEB Stuart High School.
Fairfax County Public Schools Deputy Superintendent Steve Lockard sent a memo to the JEB Stuart High School community Aug. 22 outlining the procedure for the Sept. 9 community meeting on proposing new names for the school.

The school board passed a resolution July 27 calling for the school’s name to be changed before the start of the 2019 school year. The school’s namesake is a Confederate general and slaveholder. In introducing the resolution to change the name, board member Sandy Evans (Mason) said there is a compelling need to change the name to better reflect the values of inclusion and diversity embraced by the board.

The board called for a community meeting, open to the public, at JEB Stuart High School on Sept. on 9, 10 a.m., in the school’s auditorium to solicit suggestions for a new name and allow time for people proposing new names to present their arguments. On Sept. 16, people who live within the Stuart attendance area will be invited to vote on a new name.

The goal of the Sept. 9 meeting is to “ensure that anyone interested has an opportunity to be heard as it relates to new name suggestions and that a list of potential new names is created so that residents of the JEB Stuart attendance area can vote on Sept. 16,” Lockard’s memo states.

Lockard presented the following ground rules for the Sept. 9 meeting:
  • Anyone interested in providing a name for consideration will have an opportunity to submit a name on an index card when they enter the auditorium. Index cards will be collected and suggested names will be displayed on the screen in the auditorium. Multiple suggestions for the same name will be listed only once.
  • FCPS staff will not permit any name suggestion that is lewd, vulgar, or includes profanity, as per similar language found in the FCPS Student Rights and Responsibilities handbook.
  • All names submitted will be listed on the ballot. No names will be eliminated by FCPS from consideration, unless not permitted as described above. 
  • Attendees will be provided a brief time to consider and discuss among themselves the generated list of new name considerations.
  • Interested attendees will have three minutes to orally present to those in attendance their advocacy for a name from the list of names submitted. Each attendee will be permitted to speak once should they choose, but there will be no limit to the number of speakers who wish to participate.
  • Personal attacks on any person are not permitted. Complaints regarding individual students or school-based employees should not be raised. Any such concerns should be directed to the appropriate school principal or other school official. Citizens are encouraged to write the school board on any school-related topic.
  • The meeting will conclude when all interested attendees have had a chance to speak.
“All meeting attendees are expected to conduct themselves with the decorum and respect appropriate to the conduct of the public’s business,” the memo states. “Please be respectful of the speakers and the staff and refrain from calling out from your seat in the audience and please stay seated during the meeting.”

Any signs participants would like to show during the meeting are limited to 8.5 x 11 inches and must be hand held and made of paper.

Voting on Sept. 16 will take place in the Stuart cafeteria from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Voters will need to check in and provide identification to verify they are current residents of the Stuart attendance area. Such proof could consist of a Virginia driver’s license, utility bill, payroll stub, official correspondence, lease, or student ID.

Only one person per household in the attendance area is permitted to vote. Voters will be allowed one vote for their first choice name, one vote for the second choice, and one vote for the third choice name from the list solicited at the Sept. 9 meeting. Detailed and translated directions will be provided to all voters.

A weighted point system will be used to determine the top three choices. First choice will be awarded three points, second choice two points, and third choice one point.

FCPS Superintendent Scott Brabrand will use the results of the voting to make a recommendation consisting of one or more of the most popular choices to the school board for consideration and action.

Results will not be communicated to the public on Sept. 16, but will be made public before the superintendent’s recommendation to the board.



    Schooly McSchoolface?

    1. I thought of that as well. The school board should add that only serious suggestions are allowed.

  2. Why is the September 9 meeting open to the general public rather than being restricted to those who live in the community or actually attend Stuart? The reason given is ridiculous. This is simply another opportunity to pack the room with special interest
    groups and supporters of the name change. The opinion of those directly impacted has been secondary to Sandy's mission from the beginning.

    No one has has doubted the travesty of any type of slavery, past or present. We have been told that human trafficking exists in Mason District. Where is the outcry? Where is the concern for the large percentage of at risk students at Stuart? Why does a personal agenda eclipse actual issues? How can close to a million dollars, according to FCPS sources, be considered for a politically correct name change when real peoples' lives could be affected and improved with those funds?

    1. The open mtg format will accomodate graduates?