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The Truth Behind The J.E.B. Stuart High School Renaming Push

A shocking new report published by the Daily Caller has exposed the supposedly "student-led" effort to rename J.E.B. Stuart High School in Falls Church, VA as being "plagued with clandestine conversations and deceptive tactics", according to freelance reporter Drew Johnson

For approximately two years, the school, named after a Confederate war hero, has been the target of an orchestrated campaign promoted by local politicians, leftist advocacy groups, and the mainstream media. The goal is to rename J.E.B. Stuart High after liberal Supreme Court justice Thurgood Marshall.

The name change is expected to cost Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) over $1 million (even though FCPS is currently experiencing a $70 million budget deficit for the 2016-2017 school year.) Also, students and/or parents would be forced to purchase new spirit wear, physical education uniforms, and band uniforms if the name change is enacted. This could potentially lead to hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional expenses borne by parents.

But aside from the financial cost and other drawbacks of renaming J.E.B Stuart, the effort - despite media claims - is not a protest created by students in response to "white supremacy." While deluded leftist students have played a role, the real push has been coordinated behind the scenes between FCPS school board members and political activists. This is hardly a grassroots campaign.

Sandy Evans and Pat Hynes, both Democratic FCPS board members, engaged in secret email communications with  local liberal activists, including leaders of the local NAACP chapter to satisfy their demands. George Abler, a liberal activist from Centreville, Virginia, told Evans on July 12, 2016 that “We definitely want to discuss [the resolution] with you before you publish it." Later, Hynes pushed for edits in the resolution to please the NAACP, telling fellow board member Karen Corbett Sanders that "advocates like the NAACP and others who support the name change are important constituents for us and they are disappointed in the current language.”

Also, the Daily Caller report vindicates this website's contention that school newspapers and the "student journalists" who write for them are merely puppets of administrators and leftist activists. 

According to the report, activist George Abler was used by the school board as a "conduit" to "generate opinion content for the student newspaper." (The Raider's Digest, the school newspaper of J.E.B Stuart High School, has been strongly in favor of the proposed name change.)

The pro-renaming school board members, aware that their discussions were subject to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) disclosure, "later became more careful about openly discussing the issue in emails", and even told Megan O. McLaughlin, a liberal who nonetheless holds a more moderate stance on the renaming, to avoid discussing the cost via email.

On October 6, 2016, Hynes wrote , “I would prefer that individual board members who have follow-up questions take them off line. Opinions – eg whether the board punted to staff (we did) or whether we agree with staff’s approach – should not be discussed by board members by email.”

David Williams, who is president of the Taxpayers Protection Alliance, which revealed the email communication through FOIA, called Hynes' statements "shocking" and compared the school board members' disregard for public accountability to "something you would expect in North Korea, not Falls Church, Virginia."

The left's attempts to rename J.E.B. Stuart High School are only part of a larger agenda to rewrite history and erase the contributions of our predecessors. 

They will tell you that the Civil War was fought to defend slavery and that all Confederate generals were evil racist monsters. However, that narrative is very far from the truth. Not only did four slave states support the Union (Maryland, Missouri, Delaware, and Kentucky), the causes of the Civil War were far more complex than what we have been led to believe.

During the years leading up to the war's outbreak, the federal government heavily favored Northern manufacturing over Southern agriculture, and instituted harsh trade policies to force the Southern States to sell raw materials such as cotton to Northern industrialists rather than other countries. Secession, in fact, had been debated several times in the South, such as in 1824, after an especially harsh tariff was passed. Thomas Cooper, the President of South Carolina College, stated in support of the secession proposal, “Is it worthwhile to continue this Union of States, where the North demands to be our masters and we are required to be their tributaries?”

Slavery did not become an issue until 1863, two years into the war, when the Emancipation Proclamation was signed, freeing all slaves held in Confederate territories. At the time, President Lincoln explained the measure as an economic weapon, rather than a philosophical statement. Lincoln stated, "If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that."

But the war was never framed as a heroic crusade against slavery until even later in the war, leading up to the presidential campaign of 1864.  Even the public in the Northern states was becoming weary of the war, and needed a cause to fight for. By making the war about slavery, Lincoln and the Republicans were able to gain the support of abolitionists and re-energize the tired Union forces.

The bottom line is that the Civil War was about economic and cultural differences as well as disputes over the role of the federal government. Slavery did not become a factor until near the end of the war; and the vast majority of Confederate soldiers never owned slaves.

Including J.E.B. Stuart and Robert E. Lee, by the way. 

The Civil War was a bloody and unnecessary war in which 600,000 Americans bravely fought - and died. 

Removing their memorials and renaming things does not undo the mistakes of the past. The FCPS school board must stop promoting fake history and kowtowing to ethnic front groups like the NAACP... and doing all of this behind closed doors and in a deliberately deceptive manner. 

Public accountability, which many board members have attempted to bypass, is the key to defeating this radical agenda. 

Please contact the Fairfax County School Board at this link and tell them that you strongly oppose the attempt to change the name of J.E.B. Stuart High School!

Comments

  1. The fairfax county school board is corrupt and out of control and needs to be removed from office.

    Just as a side note, every thing you stated is accurate and truthful about the civil war. However, Dred Scott and John Browns raid escalated regional tensions. Northern Abolitionists and Southern slave owners were both livid.

    Southerners could not believe their nothern neighbors would invade their lands and start slave revolts, and viewed the North's tepid response as a continuation of the north conspiring against them to exploit them using the increasing powers of the federal government.

    Such that South Carolina became the first state to secede, as they believed it was their states right, as they had originally freely joined.

    Lincoln who was elected in a fractured election with a minority share of the population, said that secession was illegal, and sent federal reinforcements to Fort Sumter, South Carolina.

    Virginia never wanted to secede, but voted to join the confederacy as they thought Lincoln provoked the war.

    Lincoln then invaded northern Virgina to protect the hillsides of Arlington from being used to bombard Wvirginian City.

    Northern Virginia which originally was against secession then became hostile to the federal invasion.

    For these reasons JEB Stuart was a celebrated career US soldier who decided to fight for his State of Virginia and his neighbor's, rather than against them as he would have been required if he stayed in the US military. It is with this in mind that he fought skirmishes against federal forces in the Munson hill area where he had his military head quarters, and why the nearby high school is named after the local hero.

    The school board needs to take a class in US history.


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  2. Just a reminder to the Daily Caller and others who would claim that we are not "grassroots": this is where it all got started. Jeff Parker (Class of 1975) began this movement on the night of the Charleston Massacre on June 16th 2015. As a result of Jeff's horror of this killer, who admitted he was inspired by a nostalgia for slave-owning, the Confederacy, and all of its symbols, Jeff posted some historical research on the Confederacy and JEB Stuart and the naming of our High School in 1959 during the Segregationist Massive Resistance movement in Virginia. I, Lisa McQuail(Class of '78) offered to help. Jeff and I were partly motivated by our own family genealogy research which traced both of our families back to the earliest slave owners in the US: at least a dozen Jamestown Virginia slave owning families between us, and their descendants, many of whom were Confederates in Virginia and elsewhere in the South. How can being a descendant of slave owners and Confederate soldiers and officers motivate a person? We have personal family stories and personal family records showing how slavery originated, grew, and developed and ENDED through the Civil War and the prevailing of our Union. We know for a fact that our ancestors who were former Confederate soldiers and officers took an oath of allegiance to the Union of the United States upon the SURRENDER of the Confederacy that marked the end of that war and the end of that flag. My Confederate ancestors sent sons and grandsons--saw them off at the train station-- to the Spanish American War and WW I to fight for the United States of America under the US Flag.

    We set up a FaceBook Group for Alumni in favor of changing the name and then opened it up to the community. I posted the first petition on Change.org. A friend and Lake Barcroft resident Stephen Spitz saw the petition and showed me his, which he had independently posted with a colleague. He introduced me to the 5 JEB Stuart High students (affectionately known as CAALM, an acronym of the first letters of their first names) who had independently, months before in Fall 2014, begun a name change movement at Stuart and a well-researched documentary film. What could be more grassroots? The late Jeffrey Slonim II (Class of 1978) became very active and instrumental and he brought in alumni Bruce Cohen (Class of 1979) and Julie Smith aka Julianne Moore (Class of 1979) who posted their own petition. We are not in the habit of preventing our successful alumni the right to free speech and free assembly and free association with us-- those are their rights as US Citizens guaranteed by the Bill of Rights. We and the students with Stephen Spitz's help were introduced to George Alber and Shirley Ginwright of our local Fairfax NAACP Chapter. Again, we were exercising our right to Free Association and Free Assembly by attending NAACP meetings and training sessions. They are just as much grassroots as we are. Being Americans in a free nation, we are empowered by our Constitution to do exactly what we have been doing for two years. E-mails? Freedom of speech. Government officials truly representing and making themselves available for debate and discussion. Under our Constitution Public officials are permitted to meet, associate, and communicate with all citizens and all interest groups. See more

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    Replies
    1. But let's go back here for the next 6 weeks until the second anniversary of our compelling event-- the Charleston Massacre. To these 9 people and every other American harmed by the escalating racism in our great nation since the beginning of our last Presidential election. We are returning to our original idea, reminding our foes of their racism, we won't get caught up in the PROCESS, and tge stultifying School Board saga. We will repeat the message: "END CONFEDERATE AND SEGREGATIONIST NAMES for PUBLIC SCHOOLS". That is where this all began and we are still as grassroots as we have always been. If fact, the word our founding fathers used was CITIZEN. There is no litmus test for "grassroots" in the Constitution to gain rights. We are CITIZENS of the United States empowered by the Bill of Rights to pursue this name change. Life is long. We will fight on. Our children will fight on. This is not over even if a vote does not remove the name this time. We are RIGHT and we have RIGHTS and our children have RIGHTS and Black Lives Matter. These 9 people started it all in my heart and in Jeff Parker's heart. Read about them. Talk about them as the origin of our movement. Never forget them and all of the people who were just simply living their lives while Black, driving while Black, in school while Black, Ministers while Black, Prize fighters while Black, JEB Stuart Athletes wearing helmets emblazoned with the Confederate Flag while Black, Astronauts while Black; Supreme Court Justices while Black, President While Black, First Lady while Black; homeless while Black, Vietnam Veterans while Black; Broadway stars while Black, Homecoming Queens while Black; Gay while Black, and essentially, US Citizens while Black. Doing or being anything while Black should not incite a backlash, including having your school named after a Confederate General as backlash as your RIGHT to an education and determined by Brown vs. the Board of Education a full 5 years before JEB Stuart High School was named. http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/victims-charleston-church-shooting-diverse-group-article-1.2263187

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