JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Nathan Bedford Forrest is a name synonymous with controversy in Jacksonville and after years of debate it could soon be wiped off the walls of a Westside high school.
Opio Sokoni, president of the Jacksonville chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, is gearing up to lead two rallies in support of the change.
"Anything would be better than what it is right now. This guy was the first leader of the Ku Klux Klan and it's time for change here in Jacksonville," said Sokoni.
The proposal still has to pass a few more hurdles. First, the school board has to survey people who would be directly affected by the change. Then, Superintendent Dr. Nikolai Vitti will present the findings before the board.
"It's an embarrassment. It's time for Jacksonville to move forward," said Sokoni.
But not everyone is on board with the change. Parent Helana Robinson, who has an 11th-grader in the school, said changing the name wouldn't make a difference.
"Why are we putting all that money into the name change instead of the kids?" said Robinson.
The school board will begin collecting community and alumni surveys Friday. The final collection is due to the superintendent by Dec 12.
The rallies in support of the name change will be held Friday on 103rd Street and Firestone Road from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.