Florida (AP) -- A Jacksonville high school named in 1959 after a former
Confederate general and the co-founder of the Ku Klux Klan has a new
name, ending a decades-long debate over the issue.
Duval County School Board voted Tuesday night to change Nathan B.
Forrest High to Westside High, to reflect the neighborhood.
The Florida Times-Union reported that the vote was unanimous and drew no discussion from board members.
A school advisory council had asked the board to change the name in 2007, but then-board members voted 5-2 against the change.
New school board rules prohibit naming schools after people.
Miller Cooper, an alumna who has advocated keeping the old school name,
told the school board that the name Westside is too closely associated
with the Westside Mafia gang.
"We all know what effect a bad name can have on students and a school," Cooper said. "There's nothing to be proud of there."
The school district has estimated that changing signs uniforms and other items will cost about $400,000.
Trey Csar, president of the Jacksonville Public Education Fund, said
that is a small amount of the district's $1.5 billion budget and
shouldn't be reason to keep the old school name.
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