If all goes according to plan, Alexandria City Public Schools will begin a public engagement process in September and October to educate the public on who Thomas Chambliss Williams was, followed by a vote on whether to change the name of T.C. Williams High School.
The actual vote on a new name would be chosen next spring after a vote on whether the name should be changed in December, according to ACPS Superintendent Gregory Hutchings, Jr., who reported the news to the school board in a virtual retreat on Wednesday.
“People are not really thinking about a name change… they’re reading about the election, they’re reading about COVID,” Hutchings told the Board. “That’s where everybody’s focus is.”
Last month, the board unanimously voted to approve the process for changing the name of T.C. by next spring. T.C. is the largest high school in Virginia and is named after former ACPS Superintendent Thomas Chambliss Williams, who was a segregationist and discouraged school integration.
“I think by the spring, if the board approves to change the name of T.C. Williams, then we can use from January to the spring to come up whatever the new name is going to be,” Hutchings said.
Marc Solomon is one of the community leaders behind the group Rename T.C. Williams Now trying to get the name changed. He says that the name should be stricken immediately.
“It’s unfortunate that ACPS is continuing to go down the path of most resistance,” Solomon said. “We hope Dr. Hutchings will reach out to our organization to cooperatively address concerns and retire the name of T.C. Williams immediately, and spend the rest of the time picking a new name.”