Renaming J.J. Finley Elementary School

Published: Jun. 16, 2020 at 5:26 PM EDT
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Update: The Alachua County School Board approved a measure to rename J.J. Finley Elementary School.

To read the updated article

The fight to rename J.J. Finley Elementary School has gone on for years, but recent protests across North Central Florida might be the push the Alachua County School Board needed to take action.

The superintendent is recommending the school board approve the renaming of the school and also solidify a process for renaming schools.

The draft included in the agenda lays out the process with a renaming committee, at least two publicly-noticed meetings and a deadline of July 27 for recommending for a new name.

Alachua County Schools Spokesperson Jackie Johnson says they've received countless emails on the subject, including from students who went to J.J. Finley and are now graduating high school.

"We will be asking the board to approve a process tonight for changing the name of J.J. Finley, and then we are going to ask for their approval for the staff to develop a process for reviewing and making name changes and coming up with new names for new schools when that’s needed,” she said.

But, Johnson said the school is more than just a name.

"What we are stressing is that the school is not the name, the the school is the people and the educators and the students and their families and that will continue no matter what the name is," she said. "But, the goal is really to have a name that is much more welcoming and much more representative of the values of the school in the school system.”

This meeting has caught quite a lot of traction on social media, with many people saying they are planning to take part in public comment.

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