Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Political Correctness

The Fairfax County School Board has voted to change the name of historic J.E.B. Stuart High School. According to news reports, the vote was 7 to 2 with 2 abstentions. They succumbed to the winds of political correctness. But this is political correctness run amok.

The taxpaying voters of Fairfax County need to take a hard look at what kind of irresponsible do-gooders liberals they have been electing to the School Board.

The controversy over the name change has not been worth all the time, energy and money being expended. The school was named after J.E.B. Stuart in 1959 to commemorate his ties to nearby Munson’s Hill in 1861. It was a simple nod to local Civil War history. The school has been around 58 years. It has produced such noteworthy pro football players as Mike Bragg, Roger Stillwell, and Charlie Garner. The school’s football stadium is named after the late Jerry Fauls, the legendary coach there from 1959 to 1979. He must be turning over in his grave. It sets a bad precedent to change the name of a school. It destroys the culture of the local community.

Let me remind everyone of what happened in the City of Alexandria back in 2004. At that time the president of the NAACP chapter in Alexandria demanded the School Board change the name of T.C. Williams High School. The school opened in 1965 and it was named in honor of Mr. T.C. Williams, who served as Alexandria’s superintendent of schools from the 1930s up through the early 1960s. This was during the time of state-mandated segregation. Because of this, some misguided individuals over the years have suggested it is inappropriate to have the school named after him. But the complaint by the NAACP president fell on deaf ears. People have an emotional attachment to the name of their school. Our mayor at that time was Bill Euille (who happens to be black). He graduated from T.C. Williams High School in the class of 1968 (the school’s second graduating class). Mayor Euille did not want to change the name. Like most alumni and longtime residents of Alexandria, he had an emotional attachment to the name of T.C. Williams High. The school became even more famous because of the 2000 Disney hit movie, “Remember the Titans.” No serious discussion was ever held to consider changing the name. Obviously, the authorities in the City of Alexandria's have more common sense than the Fairfax County School Board

Greg Paspatis

T.C. High School Class of 1978

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