From Klan leader to Klan buster
The Duval County School Board may finally change the name of one of Jacksonville's most notorious high schools – the one named for Nathan Bedford Forrest (left), an early leader of the Ku Klux Klan. And as a Forrest grad (class of '86), I'd like to humbly offer the board another option for consideration:
How about Stetson Kennedy High?
Stetson Kennedy (right) is an American folk hero, an author and activist best known for infiltrating the Klan in the 1940s. The guy knows more about Florida than just about anybody. He hung out with Zora Neale Hurston (lucky dog!). And unlike Forrest, a Civil War general with Mississippi roots, Kennedy is a Jacksonville native, which would seem to make re-naming the school after him even more appropriate.
The best part about a Kennedy High: The students could still call themselves the "Rebels," and it would be spot on.
According to this story in the Florida Times Union, the school advisory council voted to rename the school Firestone High, after the bland little road it sits on.
Yawn. Please, no. A few years back, there was talk of re-naming the school after Navy pilot Michael Scott Speicher , a Forrest grad who was shot down over Iraq during the first Gulf War and who remains missing. That'd work, too.
- Ron Matus, state education reporter