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SURVEY: GEN JEB STUART STUDENTS IN VIRGINIA EXPRESS STRONG DESIRE TO CHANGE SCHOOL BOARD’S CONTROVERSIAL MONIKER - NOT THEIR OWN

Save The Name & Concerned Citizens of Fairfax February 24, 2017

E-Mail: ConcernedCitizensofFairfax@Gmail.Com  

IMMEDIATE RELEASE // PHOTOS INCLUDED

SURVEY: JEB STUART STUDENTS LACK BASIC BIOGRAPHICAL KNOWLEDGE BUT STRONG DESIRE TO CHANGE SCHOOL BOARD’S CONTROVERSIAL MONIKER 

ANNANDALE, VA – In a random sample survey, JEB Stuart students overwhelmingly voiced their desire to eradicate Lord Thomas Fairfax’s school board namesake versus jettisoning their own school’s name which has come under intense pressure from national activist groups such as the NAACP and Black Lives Matter as part of a nation-wide funded campaign against Confederate-connected schools and symbols.

Despite the pressure to negatively focus on JEB Stuart’s name, 68% of students called for the school board to change its name after learning that “Fairfax” owned 100s of slaves among his 30 Virginia plantations, that he was active in trading slaves and that he participated in an activity called “bedding black wenches”, according to Stuart Brown’s biography entitled The Story of Thomas 6th Lord of Fairfax. 


Moreover, the survey demonstrated that the school system itself may be responsible for allowing the negative activist rhetoric to take root as the students demonstrated a significant deficit when it came to knowing even the most basic biographical knowledge regarding Stuart. For instance, while 55 percent claimed they had taken a course which featured Stuart history, not one of the 18 survey questions garnered a “yes – I knew this” answer above 50%. The most commonly known fact at 48% knew “Jeb Stuart attended West Point Academy and was commissioned into the Union Army”.

Every other question demonstrated a deep misunderstanding of Stuart – for instance: 93% did not know that JEB Stuart researched & filed a U.S. Patent; 83% did not know he had no slaves when he fought in the Army of Northern Virginia; 73% did not know he fought against pro-slavery forces in Kansas; 72% did not know that U.S. ally England made two types of honorific ‘Stuart tanks’ due to his brilliant military tactics and 71% did not know he was a hero for the Union Army at Harper’s Ferry; just to name a few.

Explanations as to the lack of critical knowledge about the Virginian might include that 80% of JEB students were not familiar and had not seen Fairfax County’s own JEB Stuart 2013 promotional video entitled “What’s in a Name” which was removed by the school board from public viewing on June 27, only a day after the NAACP warned the county school board president that it, “…may come back to haunt you” according to FOIA documents. The video explained in significant detail that Stuart, “Was a legend…” and was “…one of the greatest cavalry commanders in American history” among other facts.

Further, an investigation of the JEB Stuart library turned up only one Jeb Stuart biography available ‘on the floor’ and, according to the school’s librarian, it has only been checked out once. Finally, unlike nearby Washington & Lee High School, Stuart High School does not publicly feature the “General’s” slogans, portraits or themes as it is at the nearby award-winning Confederate-named Arlington school.

Finally, among the non-biographical issues, 68% of students did know that a name change would place approximately $700.000.00 on county taxpayers for new uniforms, sports field and other design changes.

-CCOF-


Photo 1 - Only four miles away from JEB Stuart High School is Washington & Lee High School. While the former school does not publically showcase JEB Stuart portraits, his personal values or other elements of pride in their Virginia-born General, the exact opposite may be found at the neighboring high school where daily reminders of the Generals’ standards of conduct, education and leadership are promoted throughout the school. Photo by Concerned Citizens of Fairfax


Figure 2 - Only four miles away from JEB Stuart High School is Washington & Lee High School. While the former school does not publically showcase a public JEB Stuart mural the exact opposite may be found at the neighboring high school where the community there can see this positive painting featuring not only the Generals mixed in with student’s names, but the included effusive “pride” hashtags such as “#BleedBlueAndGray” and “#GeneralsRumble”. Photo by Concerned Citizens of Fairfax


Figure 3 - One of the reasons that JEB Stuart students scored so poorly on the biographical survey is that nearly half of students have not had a history class featuring JEB Stuart and to those who have, many have been taught by at least one instructor that naming JEB Stuart High School ‘is the same as calling it Hitler High School’ according to school documents. Likewise, two other teachers were prominently featured in a school-based “anti-name” video where students claimed JEB Stuart claimed “he was racist!” and that he “hated black people!”and that he “killed slaves – I know that!”. No historical documentation exists to support these unsubstantiated claims.

Finally, students who may have received derogatory history from such activist teachers have only one JEB Stuart biography ‘accessible’ on their shelves. The Last cavalier, seen here, has only been checked out one time since added to the school’s inventory in 2012. The Library’s “off shelf” inventory includes three other titles, 1) JEB Stuart, (Grummond & Young), was last checked out in 2008 having been added in 1990; 2) Jeb Stuart, (Thomason), 2 Copies, with no checkouts where both were added in 1991 and 3) I Rode With JEB Stuart: The Life and Campaigns of Major General J.E.B. Stuart had no checkouts since being added in 1992. Photo by Concerned Citizens of Fairfax, data provided by JEB Stuart Library.

30 comments (Add your own)

1. Margaret ElginSmith wrote:
When are people going to learn "American History" and Virginia History? If these adults and students knew their history they would stop this ridiculous change. I was born and raised in VA. I love VA for all its' beauty, history, and seasons. Why would anyone with any intelligence ever want to change anything in this state. God's creation of everything we share is this beloved state, needs to be left alone.

April 30, 2017 @ 7:07 PM

2. Pamela Richmond wrote:
Pandora's box has been opened. I hope we can be wise enough and strong enough to slam the lid shut again.

July 18, 2017 @ 10:12 AM

3. J. Virginia wrote:
All the survey results prove is that having a name on a school just creates ambivalence. All the people who say that the students should learn from history - well, they don't. This survey is proof. How many graduates of George Marshall HS know anything about their namesake's accomplishments? In the case of JEB Stuart, it gives rise to higher level of ambivalence - that of moral ambivalence. So not only doesn't anyone know what he did, but even very little for what he fought and sacrificed his life for... the Confederate States of America. A nation whose very constitution enshrined negro slavery as a right. This is a society whose beliefs are contrary to what we believe today. To honor a Confederate officer whose army used slaves for logistics on a school, isn't going to help any student understand these issues in a reflective manner - either negative or positive. In fact, it creates the opposite - unquestioned validation of his life and purpose. History can live on elsewhere. The Civil war trust and quite a few historians are seeing to that everyday.

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