"Take the Quiz" & School Board Rebuttal are Below
Save Our Schools (SOS)
P.O. Box 1084
Falls Church, VA 22041
An invitation to test your knowledge of the issues surrounding a name change for J.E.B. Stuart High School
True or False
75% of J.E.B. Stuart High School student population represents racial/ethnic minorities.
60% of J.E.B. Stuart High School students said NO to a name change in a school survey, therefore reflecting the viewpoint of the school’s minorities.
Because the school was named for a Confederate general there is racial tension at J.E.B. Stuart High School.
FCSB community engagement on the proposed name change has been robust and transparent.
Superintendent Woodson retired in 1961 at age 67 after commencing Fairfax's desegregation plan.
Fairfax County Public Schools system was awarded a federal grant for rapid progress in desegregation.
FCSB and Superintendent Woodson practiced Massive Resistance.
FCSB is an educational body and should not be engaged in furthering the political agenda of national organizations that misrepresent historical facts to suit their objectives.
The FCPS Stuart Pyramid survey (conducted in English, Spanish and Arabic) resulted in only 35% of respondents wanting a name change, even after a year of campaigning.
Munson High School was renamed J.E.B. Stuart High School as a “spit in the face” of Brown v Board of Education.
The land where J.E.B. Stuart High School is located was taken from poor black landowners.
Slavery was the cause of the Civil War.
J.E.B. Stuart was a racist Confederate general who fought to keep blacks in chains.
By keeping the name J.E.B. Stuart High School, we acknowledge Virginia’s heritage and its role in the creation of a strong federal government in the United States of America and Stuart’s military legacy.
False: Racial tension is a manufactured allegation to fit the personal political agenda of the advocates. The students who started the campaign graduated in June and 60% of the largely minority student population are against a name change.
False: In December 2015 the SB voted that a school name could be changed for a “compelling reason.” The FCPS survey was not conducted until May 2016. Most of the Stuart Pyramid community is uniformed about the proposed name change.
True: Mr. Woodson's contract was approved by the School Board in March 1957 to be extended until July1, 1961. He retired exactly on schedule at age 67.
False: FCSB submitted a desegregation plan in 1956 that was rejected by the Commonwealth of Virginia. In 1960, the FCSB plan was accepted and desegregation was initiated. In 1961, FCPS was awarded federal funds in recognition of rapid progress in desegregating its schools.
True. SB members are public servants, not politicians, and should put the interests of the students and will of the electorate ahead of any political or personal agendas.
True. The community, as well as the J.E.B. Stuart students, is against a name change.
False: The name Munson High School was a place holder until the vote for a permanent name. Merrifield High School became Luther Jackson High School and Vienna High School became James Madison High School. The vote for J.E.B. Stuart was unanimous because of the school’s proximity to Stuart’s Camp at Munson Hill.
False: The land was purchased from descendants of John and Virginia Payne, a white couple who bought the land in 1875.
False: The Civil War was the supreme test of the U.S. Constitution. The Confederate states believed in a loose federation and the states were considered “countries.” Their loss established a federal union of states. The Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 did not free slaves in Border States. Lincoln favored gradual, voluntary, compensated emancipation of slaves tied to a plan for colonization. The Civil War ended in May 1865. The 13th Amendment, ratified in December 1865 ended slavery.
False: Stuart resigned his commission with the U.S. Army when Virginia seceded. He fought for his homeland – Virginia. As a result of the Civil War the United States of America, as we know it today, was formed. Stuart had little, if any, interest in slavery.
True: Confederate history IS American history. Slavery IS American and World history. Providing historical context is an imperative tenet practiced by responsible history teachers. Confederates were not and are not considered traitors. Confederates did not fight to keep blacks in chains as stated by a Stuart history teacher in the school newsletter. To suggest otherwise is a perversion of historical fact. The lessons of dignity, loyalty and mercy were and continue to be an important legacy of the Civil War. These lessons were extended to Germany and Japan after WWII. History teachers and the FCSB have a responsibility to teach and ensure the same in all our schools for all cultures, including America’s. Notably, Stuart’s legacy as a military tactician helped defeat Nazis in WWII and continue to be studied worldwide.
FALLS CHURCH - Va. ((BREAKING)) REBUTTAL -- Dismiss Improper Motion on Procedural Grounds
6.11 Motion to Create a J.E.B. Stuart High School Renaming Working Group [SBO; Action 7/28/16] Updated 7/14/16: Introduced by Sandy Evans, Mason District School Board Member and FCSB Chair.
1. This Motion should be dismissed by FCSB on procedural grounds as an improper motion devoid of the threshold requirement of “compelling need” as set forth in FCSB Regulation 8170.
2. Community engagement as outlined in R. 8170 has been met through surveying and a community meeting as specified, and shows conclusively that there is no community support for a name change and thus no compelling need.
3. The motion is also substantively flawed as the Ad Hoc Committee is established merely to generate ex post facto support and to implement a name change decision already reached in the absence of community support or compelling need in violation of R. 8170.
4. The resolution presumes a rationale for a name change and is a directive to change the name.
5. FCSB policy provides very clearly that any naming requires that the Board “make every effort to respect the preference of the community,” and that the Board solicit suggestions for names from members of the school community, following specific guidelines for soliciting such input as set forth in Regulation 8170. The Motion doesn’t do that either.
6. The Motion ignores the clear requirement to specifically define the rationale for change and assess that rationale as compelling, and instead proposes to establish an Ad Hoc Committee to focus directly on implementation without “sufficient community support” as required in R. 8170.
7. A “laudable goal” does not rise to the requisite threshold standard for considering a change.
8. The resolution does not identify a compelling need for a name change; it tasks the committee to “weigh the pros and cons.”
9. Implementation of a name change without a compelling need is not “laudable” all on its own, particularly when it is so disruptive and blatantly against the majority community will.
10. The phrase “renaming the school to one more reflective of the community” is meaningless since no other name is even mentioned. How can an unmentioned name be considered as “more reflective” of the community than a current name that currently has its own strong and positive local brand in the community.
Vote NO and dismiss this Motion that clearly violates FCSB policy and FCSB Regulation 8170. A NO vote puts an end to the tension this Motion perpetuates in our community and school. This Motion singles out the Stuart high school in a County where there are numerous schools named after prominent Virginians. This Motion is disrespectful of the opinion of the Stuart community and perpetuates the divisiveness and polarization that has resulted after more than a year of renaming campaigning.
Rebuttal to the School Board's Resolution and to Create a J.E.B. Stuart High School Renaming Working Group
Whereas, in 1958 the Fairfax County School Board voted to name a new high school in the Munson Hill/Seven Corners area of Fairfax County “J.E.B. Stuart High School,” in honor of a Confederate military officer.
The School Board’s decision reflects the suggestions of their citizenry and fulfilled their constituents’ desire for naming schools after “prominent Virginians.” The vote to name the school J.E.B. Stuart High School was unanimous, unlike the naming of other FCPS schools. Stuart is famous for his Quaker Guns military deception at Munson Hill. The country was celebrating the Civil War Centennial. Stuart’s military tactics are studied globally today.
Whereas, the opening of the school and the naming of the school came at a time when Fairfax County, the Commonwealth of Virginia and the nation as a whole were subject to the 1954 Supreme Court Brown vs. the Board of Education ruling requiring all public schools to desegregate and end the practice of educating white students and black students in separate schools.
The baby boom overwhelmed the school system. SB was adding a classroom a day. SB is to be lauded for keeping the schools open at a time when Virginia was closing them to prevent integration. In 1956, FCPS filed a desegregation plan with the Commonwealth; it was rejected. Naming our high school was NOT, as one petition claims, a “spit in the face” of the Brown v Board of Education ruling. Fairfax began integration in 1960 and in received federal funds in recognition of its rapid progress.
Whereas, some elected Virginia leaders at the time advocated for refusing to comply with the Supreme Court’s ruling and started a “Massive Resistance” movement, which included the passage of state laws denying funding and threatening school closures in any school system that integrated.
The FCPS was not involved in massive resistance. They were the second school system in the state to submit a plan to the Commonwealth (1956); it was rejected by the Commonwealth. Again, naming J.E.B. Stuart High School was NOT, as one petition claims, a “spit in the face” of the Brown v Board of Education ruling. It fulfilled the requests of the citizenry in acknowledging “prominent Virginians.” Fairfax began integrating schools in 1960 and received federal funds in recognition of its rapid progress.
Whereas, the first black students to attend J.E.B. Stuart High School were admitted in 1961, seven years after the Brown vs. the Board of Education ruling, two years after the school opened in 1959 and a year after the U.S. District Court ruled that Fairfax County must integrate its schools in accordance with the Brown vs. the Board of Education ruling.
In 1956, FCPS filed a desegregation plan with the Commonwealth; it was rejected. Fairfax began desegregation in 1960. FCPS was awarded a federal grant for its rapid integration. Boston did not integrate until 1974. The integration process in the U.S. was completed by 1979. Fairfax integrated rapidly. Pupil Placement was handled by Richmond.
Whereas, few records exist from the time to indicate the rationale of the Fairfax County School Board in naming the school, previously referred to as the Munson Hill High School, after J.E.B. Stuart, other than the decision to name new high schools for “some prominent American, now deceased.”
The facts are clearly recorded and there is no reason for confusion. SB minutes and The Washington Post reported on the tug of war between Franconia and Springfield over naming a school in that area. Upper Pohick Community League offered the solution of naming schools after "prominent Virginians." Citizens suggested names for their schools. The naming of J.E.B. Stuart High School by the FCPS Board was unanimous. The FCPS Board reflected the desires of its constituency.
Whereas, the school was named for an individual prominent primarily in Virginia for his role in fighting for the Confederacy and all it stood for, including the despicable institution of slavery, and the school logo for many years was a horse and rider carrying the Confederate flag.
The school was named for a prominent Virginian as was requested by the citizenry. The Civil War was the supreme test of the U.S. Constitution. The Confederate states believed in state’s rights and a loose federation. Their loss established a federal union of states. Slavery was not addressed in the Constitution of 1787 and was a common labor force, even in Lincoln’s White House. The institution of slavery in the U.S. ended as a result of the Civil War. Records show that Stuart had little or no interest in slavery; rather he fought for his homeland - Virginia. Stuart’s legacy as a brilliant military strategist outlives his role in the Confederacy. His deception tactics were used in WWII (U.S. Ghost Army) and his strategies are studied globally even today.
Whereas, while we cannot know what was in the hearts and minds of Fairfax County School Board members in the naming of J.E.B. Stuart High School, the current Fairfax County School Board, responding to concerns raised by some current students, alumni and community members, regards the name as inappropriate for a Fairfax County public school and not reflective of our diverse community.
The petitions that are circulating are malicious and libelous and devoid of the facts. The students advocating for change are ill-informed. The intent of the FCPS Board members who deliberated desegregation is clearly represented in SB minutes and numerous books on the subject. The U.S. Government awarded funds to FCPS in recognition of rapid integration. Even deliberating this Resolution is in conflict with the results of the survey done by the FCPS itself in English, Spanish and Arabic. This survey reflects the opinion of the multi-culturally diverse respondents. Only 35% want a name change. Clearly, the community says NO to a name change.
Whereas, community engagement to date has shown a mix of views on the idea of renaming the school, with the greatest concern expressed in opposition being the potential cost to the school system and to booster organizations.
The only open community engagement has been in the form of the survey that produced clear results. The Stuart Pyramid stakeholders, a multi-culturally diverse group of respondents, said NO to a name change. The survey results were announced at the May 23 Community Meeting, yet rather than discuss whether or not to change the name at that meeting, participants were asked to suggest new names and to discuss pros and cons among themselves. There was no opportunity for open discussion before the entire group.
Therefore, be it RESOLVED, that the Fairfax County School Board sets as a goal the renaming of J.E.B. Stuart High School to one more reflective of the community it serves.
Keep the name J.E.B. Stuart High School. Provide the context; teach the history. Teach the students how prominent Civil War figures helped the U.S. become a strong country that welcomes diversity.
Be it further RESOLVED, that the Fairfax County School Board hereby approves the creation of a J.E.B. Stuart Renaming Working Group to consist of students, parents, community members, alumni, and business and community leaders to be chosen by the Superintendent in consultation with the Board.
The Superintendent and FCPS staff will facilitate the group’s work. The working group will explore public-private partnerships to finance a name change; ways to prevent added burdens on the school’s booster clubs, PTSA and Stuart school administration; the best method for transitioning from the old name to the new; proper record retention; and the best timing for such a change. The working group will also provide ideas for ways to honor and preserve the school’s history, traditions and past achievements and to memorialize its decades as J.E.B. Stuart High School.
The working group will also solicit ideas for a new name to be considered as part of the established school naming process. In any representative legislative body, the will of the majority prevails. The community and student survey respondents clearly expressed their desire to keep the name J.E.B. Stuart High School. How will this group of affected community and student stakeholders be represented in the Working Group? Lack of transparency and minimal open community engagement have been evident throughout this process.
Be it further RESOLVED that the working group will report on its findings and recommendations to the School Board by June 2017. The working group is being given the task of implementing a personal agenda at County expense. This conduct has no place in our education system. This Resolution should not be given any consideration.
Before Voting - you MUST KNOW JEB! Did you know that JEB Stuart:
Attended the U.S. Army Academy at West Point and was Commissioned in the Union Army?
Loved riding & was considered the best horseman of his West Point class?
Was considered an excellent student who finished in the top 1/4 of his class?
Was considered a “Virginiaphile” well known to love & promote his state?
Was a lover of the arts – he was known to have authored original poetry?
Was deeply involved in conducting field research, testing & patenting inventions?
Was Born in Va. & the Grandson of a Revolutionary War Soldier who served with “distinction”?
Was the son of a Union Officer who served the United States in the War of 1812?
Was a Union Army “Hero” in voluntarily leading & retaking Harper’s Ferry Arsenal?
Helped establish & defend the anti-slavery Kansas Government?
As a Union Officer JEB Stuart responded to anti-United State’s Utah uprising?
Once struck out alone in hostile territory to find assistance & successfully rescue his unit?
Was not a secessionist & once said: “I love the Union (but) I love Virginia more…”?
His "Raids" were considered “courteous”, “honorable” & plundering was prohibited?
Was respected by both North & South alike for his courage, creativity & Bravery?
Was a philanthropist where he launched a plan to fund & build a “free” church?
Not vocally or publicly supportive of slavery, had no plantation & had no slaves when he fought for The Army of Northern Virginia?
Was considered a military genius, so much so that the British named tanks after him?