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Duval superintendent discusses school's controversial name

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Updated: 10/04/2013 9:32 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Duval County Public Schools superintendent Dr. Nikolai Vitti has made it clear, Nathan B. Forrest High School should get a new name. But Vitti wants to hear from the community first before any names are considered.

The issue of renaming the Westside high school came to a head during a town hall meeting Thursday night. The meeting was intended to discuss budget issues but the topic people wanted to talk about was the school's decades-old name.

Nathan B. Forrest was a Confederate Army general and Grand Wizard for the Ku Klux Klan. It's been a heated topic in Duval County for the past few years, and Vitti said it's with good reason.

"I don't think it sends the right message to the African-American community. I also don't think it represents what we want to be as Jacksonville," said Vitti.

But before any name changes are considered, Vitti has called on the school board member representing that district to get feedback from the community.

"I don't believe it's my role as superintendent to unilaterally make the decision," said Vitti. 

As of 1997, the county's policy of naming and renaming institutions has stated that no new school shall be named after a person living or dead. The district has
26 elementary schools, 11 middle schools, one K-8, and 13 high schools who already bear someone's name.

At least five of them have Confederate-era names, but none have created as much controversy as Forrest High.

"If you look at the past, Nathan Forrest it doesn't speak to who we want to be and who we want our children to become," said Vitti.

In the coming weeks, school leaders will hold town-hall-style meetings to get everyone in the area involved in the discussion.

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of Action News Jacksonville

DeoVindiceOne - 11/8/2013 1:22 AM
0 Votes
Irresponsible reporting by the liberal left news media, "Thousands fight to change the name of KKK High School in Jacksonville, Fl." One would expect to see large rioting mobs carrying lit torches with pitch forks surrounding the school demanding a change to the School name. Not the case! The Jacksonville Progressive Coalition with connections to the Communist Parties of America is leading the fight for the name change being pushed by the progressive superintendent Nikolai Vitti. Yes, he is the same progressive who pushed to reinstate the black female teenage students who nearly killed one of their white female classmates of a local Duval Co area school. Judge Davis had decreed that the attempted murder of this young white girl was so brutal and horrendous that he ordered that the perpetrators be banned and could never attend any public school in Jax, Fl. again. Progressive chief educator, Vitti entered the fray and exerted pressure on the State Attorney to reduce the attempted murder offense to a simple misdemeanor. The silver lining of this dark cloud will allow these criminals to stay in school and be eligible to participate in Vitti other pet project of allowing "Felons in the classroom" to teach our children. What is wrong with this picture? Progressive Vitti is also pushing the new national 'Core Curriculum' educational agenda(s)which is the like ObamaCare for education...which means .. it ain't going to work! FYI, the only answer to avoid this socialist education program is to Home School your children. Vitti in concert with the political ideology of the Jacksonville Progressive Coalition, NAACP, Southern Poverty Law Center, Southern Christian Leadership Conference and other communist, socialist organizations is leading the charge to change the name of Nathan Bedford Forrest High School. Never mind the results of 1871 U.S. Congressional Hearings that exonerated CSA LT Gen Nathan Bedford Forrest of all charges concerning any association with the KKK.

RFM2009 - 10/5/2013 6:45 AM
4 Votes
Duval County Public Schools superintendent Dr. Nikolai Vitti - He should be tending to the real problems in the Duval County School System. For instance, the teachers salaries, quality of teachers, schools and extra curricular activities. The renaming of NB Forrest High School is nothing more than a diversive action based on shabby politics and reverse discrimination. Gwt back to basics Mr. Supt. EDUCATION of our CHILDREN!

Gunny48 - 10/4/2013 8:40 PM
2 Votes
A "nawthener" changing the name...where's Ft. Sumter again?
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