Updated at 3:45 p.m — The Alexandria City School Board unanimously voted 9-0 on Friday to consider changing the name of T.C. Williams by next spring.
Earlier: Alexandria City Public Schools Superintendent agrees that the name of T.C. Williams High School needs to change, and asked the community to be patient with a proposed process that, if approved today by the school board, would result in a report to be acted upon next spring.
“This is the right time to address this,” Hutchings said of the name change. “I think that we as a community have to understand that we have to have a process for any kind of change, from adopting or changing a building or spending dollars in our budget. It’s important for the community to respect the process. The process helps us be methodical.”
The School Board will vote on moving forward with the name change process at its meeting today at noon.
But Lindsey Vick and Marc Solomon organized a petition that went to the board, and they want the name change to be made faster. They said the School Board does not need to engage in a process that will see resolution next year.
“We reviewed all the policy documents before we started this petition,” the pair said in a statement. “Nothing in school board policy precludes them from voting to eliminate the name T.C. Williams by end of year. We respect a robust process to pick a new name. However, the time has long past to decide whether to change the name.”
As previously reported, Thomas Chambliss Williams was a racist and segregationist who advocated against integration. Multiple efforts to have the school name changed have failed in years past.
Hutchings said that the school system is committed to rooting out systemic racism.
“One advantage of having a solid process is allowing our public to speak on a decision that the board has to make,” he said. “I think that as a school division we have been able to speak the truth about who T.C. Williams was.”
Photo via ACPS/Facebook