JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A time to mend the divide; a sentiment that was met with a standing ovation.
The Duval County School Board voted unanimously to remove the name of a Confederate general from a Westside high school. School leaders called it a move for progress.
"I'm very encouraged. Jacksonville is too much of a beautiful city to have that ugly blemish," said Ty Richmond, the creator of the petition.
"I could not have attended Forrest. Why? Because schools were segregated at that time," said Board Member Connie Hall.
The other driving force behind the change was students.
"We need to make today about honoring the future, which is our children," said Board Member Jason Fischer.
Superintendent Dr. Nikolai Vitti supported the name change since day one and is ready to take action tomorrow.
"Now that the board has spoken, I believe it's time to re-engage the community on what the name should be and if there should be donations to pay for the cost," said Vitti.
He said local supporters have pledged to help offset the now $400,000 price tag, most of which, we're told, will pay for new uniforms.
Vitti said he will hand out ballots to students Tuesday and Wednesday, with two potential names: Westside High and Firestone High.
From Thursday through Saturday, alumni and community members living nearby can cast their vote at the school. Vitti hopes to have a new school name by the board meeting scheduled for Jan. 7.