The current online campaign to change the name of Jacksonville’s Nathan B. Forrest High School is far from the first time the issue has come up.
The school, on Jacksonville’s Westside, is named for Tennessee native Nathan Bedford Forrest: slave trader, confederate soldier and Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.
Former Jacksonville Mayor Tommy Hazouri was on the Duval County School Board when the question of changing the school’s name came up for a vote in 2008.
Hazouri, who voted to keep Nathan B. Forrest, says some of the citizens who addressed the board were afraid that changing it would open up a can of worms where other schools were concerned.
“If it ever is changed then you have a lot of Lee High, Lee High School people who are concerned they would want to change that name. Jefferson Davis school, maybe want to change that one. If you want to take it further, Andrew Jackson High School or Jacksonville.”
According to Hazouri, the list would also include Kirby Smith Middle school.
Edmund Kirby Smith fought in the Civil War; he was one of the last Confederate generals to surrender.