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Forrest High officially renamed Westside Senior High

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Updated: 1/07 8:36 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- It's official. This year's seniors will be the last graduating class of Forrest High School.

The Duval County School Board voted Tuesday to change the name of the school after controversy over its namesake, Nathan Bedford Forrest, and his alleged ties to the Ku Klux Klan. Historians dispute whether that is true.

Not everyone is happy with the name change.

Joan Miller Cooper is one of several Forrest High School graduates sad to see the name of her alma mater change.

She said, "We're all very upset about it because of the way it was handled, because of the misinformation that was given out, because of the racism that was involved that should not have been."

The community voted to change the name in November of last year.

That's when Duval County School Superintendent Nikolai Vitti recommended to the board that the name be changed to Westside Senior High.

Calling the vote "rigged," Cooper is now on a new mission.

She said, "I, personally, have already started committees to ouster all of the current school board members."

She said the decision was made without people knowing the facts about Forrest. And while she has to live with the name change, she's still going to do what she can to preserve her school's memories.

"What's gonna happen to the trophies? What's gonna happen to the memorabilia?" she wondered.

The name change will take effect in July. Dr. Vitti said the school colors will stay the same. The school's new mascot has not yet been named.

The name change comes at a price to taxpayers. The school district estimates it will cost between $400,000 and $500,000 to switch signs, athletic uniforms, and everything else with the Forrest name.
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Eggy78 - 1/8/2014 5:21 PM
0 Votes
The name on the Cement may change , but for ALL the Alumni it will ALWAYS be N.B. FORREST SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL. That Fact will never change , WE STAND UNITED. Under what Florida Statue does the school board have the right to change the name ? From what I have read they have none.What school will they Bully and Attack next? They can't re write history, you are to learn from it . Trying to hide it in a hole will not change what has happened . And Gen. Forrest even though he may have been a part of the Klan, he Freed his Slaves before Mr. Lincoln abolished slavery. He resigned from the Klan when it strayed and started persecuting Blacks. That is selectively cherry picked out of the facts being presented, so that their is no positive facts are shared to counter the negative story being spun. How sad this School board is, the worst in the County's history.Nice legacy this Super and board members are creating for themselves.

Realchange - 1/8/2014 2:49 PM
0 Votes
Can I complain now about Michael Jackson music still playing on the radio. We know from his murder trail that he never touched his wives couldn't bring himself to have sex with them. We know he lied about bleaching his skin on national TV as well now. Means he more likely than not abused young boys (10-14 years in age). Why no uproar over his stuff still being historically recognized? The lead Elmo actor from Sesame Street flew boys to his apartment to have sex with them, when he was supposed to be a "father" figure to them. Should we not remove his works? Oh wait those are black people who did disgusting things we can't comment about that or have them removed from history or a heritage. What was I thinking about equality does not exist.

warpsix - 1/8/2014 11:54 AM
0 Votes
Count me in. Every one of those school Board members need to be thrown out!

bigboybob - 1/8/2014 10:40 AM
3 Votes
if the school board would have used their head and told the ones that if they wanted to change the name of the school they would have to pay for it.that would be the end of that.i tell you i am one that is ticked off because the tax payers will have to fill the bill.we need to get rid of all the school board members and now.

RFM2009 - 1/8/2014 8:35 AM
3 Votes
"The name change comes at a price to taxpayers. The school district estimates it will cost between $400,000 and $500,000 to switch signs, athletic uniforms, and everything else with the Forrest name." Oh, wait..... we were all told that money would come from donations.... NOW its out of our pockets? Shame on you Vitti!! And on your jelly-backed no courage School Board! I'd not have a word to say if that kind of money was spent directly on enhancing the education of the students. Instead, the wimps spent it on a "Politically Correct" boondoggle. Once again, the taxpayers of Duval County get fleeced. Vitti will ultimately leave in disgrace because he does not know what it means to RESPECT history.

confederate - 1/8/2014 7:53 AM
2 Votes
Now the Westside Gang have a school named for them

joewW07 - 1/8/2014 6:55 AM
3 Votes
What's next?? Are we going to change the name of Jacksonville. It was named after Andrew Jackson. He was a slaveholder...so better hurry and change the name or people will think that everybody that lives here is a racist.....smh

eviltwinmorgan - 1/8/2014 6:23 AM
0 Votes
Westside High? Why not First Gtand Wizard of the KKK High? Why not Stetson Kennedy High? That would be poetic.
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