Julianne Moore Petitions To Rename High School Honoring Confederate General
Julianne Moore has started a petition on Change.org to rename J.E.B. Stuart High School in Fairfax County, Virginia, where she attended between 1975 and 1977. The school is named after a Confederate General who fought to uphold slavery, but now the actress is suggesting the school be renamed Thurgood Marshall High School in honor of the first African American Supreme Court Justice.
J.E.B. Stuart High School was founded in 1959, and named after the Confederate General, who was an outspoken supporter of segregation. Moore co-wrote a statement, along with movie producer and fellow J.E.B. Stuart alumni Bruce Cohen, to explain why the high school’s name has no place in 2015.
“Today, this school is attended by a diverse group of students who should not have to attend a school that bears the name of a man who fought to keep African Americans enslaved,” reads Moore and Cohen’s statement. “So we’re calling on the Fairfax County School Board to rename it Thurgood Marshall High School. Not only was Marshall the first African American Supreme Court Justice and a civil rights leader, he was our neighbor and a member of our community.”
Moore and Cohen go on to argue that the school’s name represents a “history of racism,” exemplified by this past June’s Charleston church shooting, in which a confederate flag-wearing gunman killed nine African Americans.
Many current students and alumni of J.E.B. Stuart have voiced their support for Moore and Cohen’s petition. The Change.org document currently has more than 28,000 signatures. The petition ends by urging, “It’s time to rename J.E.B. Stuart High School. Please sign our petition to help us honor a true leader and hero by creating Thurgood Marshall High School.”