South O’ the Highway

Julianne Moore Fights to Change Her High School’s Name

Montauk resident and actress Julianne Moore’s fight to change the name of her high school was voted in her favor last week.

The star had taken issue with the school’s namesake, J.E.B. Stuart, a Confederate General who was killed at the Battle of Yellow Tavern. Beginning in June of 2015, students and alumni banded and formed a petition to change the name, arguing that Stuart was chosen in defiance of the Brown v. Board of Education ruling of 1954, a landmark trial that resulted in the desegregation of public schools.

Moore, a student of Stuart from 1975 to 1977, and producer Bruce Cohen, also a graduate of the high school, joined the cause in late August, following the tragedy of the Charleston Church Shooting. The two created a petition that was circulated online and received attention from several news sources, earning just under 35,000 signatures.

“When we were at J.E.B. Stuart in the late ‘70’s, the school symbol was Stuart riding a horse and waving a Confederate flag. The Confederate flag was at the center of our basketball court and on our athletic letter jackets and wasn’t removed until 2001—but the symbol of Stuart on a horse waving a flag (now solid blue) remains,” the actress wrote in the petition.

She continued, “No one should have to apologize for the name of the public high school you attended and the history of racism it represents.”

The issue was discussed and voted upon last Thursday, July 28, under the new Fairfax County School Board chair Sandy Evans. According to the Fairfax Times, the issue is opposed primarily on budgetary concerns, while supporters of the name change claimed that the name is contradictory of the school’s philosophy and the current mindset of our times.

No name change has been declared yet, but Evans is calling for a committee to investigate further into the issue.

This is not the first time Moore has used her celebrity for activism. In the past, Moore has been an outspoken voice for gay rights and gun control and is an Artist Ambassador for Save the Children. Just last week, the actress was one of several celebrities to sign an online petition in opposition towards Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump. She was joined by fellow East End resident Russell Simmons, along with Michael Moore, Lena Dunham, Michael Stipe and dozens more.

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