Letter to the Editor: J.E.B. Stuart Name Change


(Photo courtesy of change.org)

The Jagwire Staff

Recently The Jagwire received commentary on an article that was published in the February 26 edition of our newspaper. This issue contained an article about the potential name change at J.E.B. Stuart High School. As a publication that encourages student feedback, we are always looking for ways to improve our newspaper and be as accurate as possible.

The emailed letter can be read below:

Hello and to whom it may concern,

I’m a student who recently read your article on the name change of J.E.B. Stuart High School. I’m emailing mainly to correct many of the falsely stated facts in the article. While I am accepting of the opinion that it should not be changed, (although I disagree,) there are plenty of things in the article that are flat-out incorrect. 

1) The petition does not have “1,200 supporters,” it has 34,700. A simple google search would have given that information.

2) The petition does not address Confederate names in general, it addresses the naming of J.E.B Stuart specifically, and does not claim that the name fuels white supremacy.

3) The schools were not named in the early 1960’s, they were named in the late 1950’s directly in response to Brown vs. Board of Education, in order to scare away students of color because of Stuart’s views on segregation. This is a relatively important detail that I feel was missed. The school was not named to promote Confederate “heritage,” or honor the military accomplishments of a man, it was named to scare away students of color in the area.

I also believe it is biased journalism to not include viewpoints of students both for and against the name change. I believe fully in the freedom of the press to report on whatever issues matter to the journalist or publication, so I am not upset at the opinion expressed in the article. I am upset because I felt many of the things stated in the article were biased or simply incorrect.

Thank you for your time,

Whitten Rutledge


Editor’s Note: We would like to thank Whitten for his response, and point out that at the time the article was written, the petition consisted of only 1,200 supporters.  This total dramatically increased during the production time of this issue of the Jagwire.  You can send us an email at [email protected] to have your voice heard as well on this important issue!