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School name change debate sparks verbal attack

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Updated: 12/10/2013 11:58 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A war hero, a slave dealer and even a civil rights leader: Everyone at Tuesday's town hall meeting had their own idea of who Nathan Bedford Forrest really was.

"If you guys fight so vehemently to keep the name and if you do keep the name, let's get some instruments in the school for these kids," said Ty Richmond, the man who started the petition.

That thought actually gained support from the opposition, who made it known that spending $500,000 of taxpayer money on a name change might be better spent on establishing a school marching band.
"Just channel the funds to our kids. They're our future leaders," said one man.

The gloves came off when a local group was called upon for battle.

"Their political agenda is to attack anything confederate," said local historian Jim Shillinghaw. He called the Jacksonville Progressive Coalition a bunch of communists.

Action News later confronted him about that. "Ultra-liberal political organization that's actually being backed by the Communist party of Florida and has resolutions from the Communist party of the U.S. to attack Nathan Bedford Forrest and change the name," said Shillinghaw.

"It's particularly insulting to be called a Communist because my family actually fled a communist state in Cuba,"said Fernando Figueroa, member of the Jacksonville Progressive Coalition.

Things got so heated that the board had to remind the audience what they came for.

"We're not going to quit until we make it right," said Figueroa.
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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of Action News Jacksonville

ACTXPYR - 12/15/2013 9:41 AM
0 Votes
As a Jacksonville taxpayer (who pays taxes to support the school system even though I have no school age children)my recommendation is to let those who want the name changed RAISE THE MONEY TO DO SO. And while we're on the subject of WASTING TAXPAYERS MONEY I also vote to let the JAGUARS pay for their own "JUMBOTRON and WATERPARK. WTH...Let's just layoff the Jacksonville Sheriffs office and Fire Rescue ENTIRELY. Who needs them?

joeinjax - 12/12/2013 1:58 AM
0 Votes
Jim Shillinghaw calling himself a historian is like a McDonald's worker calling himself a chef. He's a Teahadist, racist nut--I remember trying to talk to him once at the Museum and it was all crazy revisionist bile. He'd be eaten alive by a real historian in any kind of debate. The fact that all he can do is call the opposition names is pretty typical.

warpsix - 12/11/2013 4:05 PM
0 Votes
Time to change the school board members like a dirty diaper and for the same reasons.

geraldine - 12/11/2013 2:35 PM
0 Votes
my buddy's ex-wife makes $66 hourly on the internet. She has been without work for 5 months but last month her check was $13438 just working on the internet for a few hours. linked here..... www.jobs74.com

iondaprize - 12/11/2013 9:16 AM
0 Votes
it's the right thing to do.

RFM2009 - 12/11/2013 7:55 AM
2 Votes
These "High Level" Educators; Superintendent Nikolai Vitti and Duval County School Board members, love to divert attention away from their own failure in providing top notch resources for the dedicated teachers educating the Students of Duval County!! Vitti appears as a pushover... not a leader!

floridakrakker - 12/11/2013 7:54 AM
2 Votes
The board should have never allowed it to get this far. The contentious and divisive atmosphere has only exacerbated since the guy who came out of no where started seeking global opinions and throwing fuel on a fire that was already burning hot. As far as fiscal waste, this board and those before have been known for wasting money. This is certainly not new. Just a few years ago, the board spent over $500,000 in renovations to Wesconnet Elementary, only to close it a year later and sell it for 200,000.00. Our school boards excel at waste and we have an new super that loves to spend it, too. Millions have already been spent on moving district offices around. There are painters, new carpeting, new furniture, movers - you name it, it is being spent. It is complete waste when district personnel could have just stayed where they were and used that money for kids. It is a sin the amount of money that has been spent. At any rate, the board needs to just change the friggin' name and get this over with. Stop allowing the divisive nature of this issue continue. The name will be changed anyway. Historically in the last few years, anything that offends black people gets changed. Stop making this look like a real democratic process when the outcome can already be predicted. just do it and get it over with and lets move on. Stop this dog and pony show.
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