Duval County School Board Votes Unanimously To Start Renaming Process For Forrest High

Nov 8, 2013

At a special meeting Friday evening, the Duval County School Board voted unanimously to begin the process of renaming Nathan B. Forrest High School.

Omotayo Richmond
Credit Karen Feagins / WJCT

"It's time to move forward, and really put it to rest," said board member Dr. Connie Hall, who introduced the motion to take the first steps to request towards changing the name.

The long-simmering controversy was re-ignited this year when Jacksonville resident Omotayo Richmond posted a petition on Change.org urging Superintendent Nikolai Vitti to change the name.

The petition garnered more than 160,000 signatures, catching the attention of the school board and a Missouri-based chapter of the KKK, who sent a letter to the board encouraging it to reject the name change.

As per district policy, Superintendent Vitti will now solicit the input of several groups, including the PTA, the School Advisory Council, current Forrest High students and alumni, and present a recommendation to the board on whether to change the name and what to change it too.

The school board will make the final determination on whether to change the name based on that recommendation — Vitti has already said he supports renaming the school.

In 2008 the Duval County School Board voted 5-2 along racial lines to keep the name.

You can follow Karen Feagins on Twitter @karenfeagins and Patrick Donges @patrickhdonges.