Debate rages over schools with Confederate names across the country

JACKSONVILLE, Florida -- The national debate over Confederate symbols is reaching a fever pitch at school campuses.

The question is one that has been asked a number of times over the years: Should schools with Confederate names change their names?

Beliefs vary, but there is always intense passion on both sides.

We've seen the debate here in Houston. Now residents in Jacksonville, Florida are facing a similar question.

Ceber Newsome III is with Save Southern Heritage Florida, who said the money would be better spent educating students.

"Changing a school name, like I said, does not make anyone smarter," Newsome said.

Newsome argues the situation can lead to important and educational discussions in the classroom.

"I thought schools were where you go to learn," Newsome said. "Why don't you teach to students about these people, the history, the truth about what happened in the war between the states?"
Glen Hannah, of Occupy Jacksonville, said these changes can still have an effect.

"One by one, slowly we can probably name them after more positive individuals or more positive influences," Hannah said.

In Jacksonville, there are seven high schools remaining with Confederate names.

The school board there must accept name change requests from the superintendent, a board member, the PTA, or at least 75 percent of the school's student body or alumni.

If accepted, the board then receives input from several groups before making a renaming decision.

The district said it is not considering any name changes for the time being.

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