Group pushes back on Duval County Public School name change proposal

Jacksonville, FL. — One by one people came up to the podium at the Duval County Public School Board workshop to express their anger over the school board’s name change proposal.

Seber Newsome told the board he graduated from Raines High School changing the names is a waste of tax payer money.

“The millions in the cost to change the name could be used for Covid-19 readiness and improving academic and social outcomes,” Newsome said.

Although it wasn’t in the agenda at least 5 people came out to voice their opinion during the public comment portion of the meeting saying they were against the name change  and they asked the school board to reconsider.

It’s still early on in the process but right now there are 9 schools that could undergo a name change because of their controversial historical namesakes.

The name change proposal stems from a motion passed in august by former Duval County School board member, Ashley Smith Juarez.

The school district tells me it would cost a little over a million dollars to do that.

$200,000 for a high school, $150,000 for a middle school, $100,000 for an elementary school.

Much of name change cost is related to school uniforms and new signage.

The school district says the Jacksonville Public Education Fund is currently working to help raise some of that money.

Sitting in the auditorium quietly was Lee High School senior class president Deyona Burton.

Burton didn’t get up to speak but she was one of the students who rallied for change on Monday.

“We understand that there’s an umbrella of things that need to be tackled so here are the sub headings or maybe it’s collective. It’s not just one issue that needs to be prioritized,” Burton said.

She told me while the name changes are important  working to making sure that inclusion and diversity is a priority moving forward is what really matters.