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A Slave Trader & 'Servant' Rapist's Name Represents Our School Board - Let's Eradicate it

This petition had 80 supporters

In 2015 the Fairfax County School Board, led by Sandy Evans, began a process to identify and research a county institutional name to consider for replacement.

While the school-board’s process thus far has produced one contested candidate to target for change, it did inspire JEB Stuart High School students to conduct their own research into realistically offensive names.

What the students turned up - ironically - is that it’s the school board’s name itself "Fairfax", astonishingly, that comes up as the most likely target for change as Mrs Evans' own board name is named after the notorious slave-trader and slave woman abuser/rapist.

Indeed it's Fairfax -- Thomas the 6th Lord of Fairfax specifically -- which is a name that graces not only the name-focused school board, but represents a County, a City and a High School!

Under the tutelage of a JEB Stuart history and social justice "club" teacher, students fervently conducted research into regional names and icons which could be offensive.  

Those students found that Lord Fairfax not only owned 30 plantations on 9,000-acres and built his wealth not just the backs of 100s of working slaves, but did so through his active participation in the heinous slave-trade industry, a practice which broke up existing families caused extensive hardship for those brought to Virginia against their will.

Lord Fairfax is also known to have participated in the act of “bedding down with a negro wench” and, when he died, he maintained a collection of 97 slaves.  (See: Stuart Brown Jr., The Story of Thomas 6th Lord of Fairfax, 1965, Chesapeake Bay Book Co, Berryville, Va.) 

But not only does Lord Fairfax’s name impact the county school board’s name, but his family crest is featured on 1000’s of county & City vehicles, flags and buildings.  This moniker simply adds to Lord Fairfax's impact on ALL county high school students, especially those attending Fairfax High School.  

Similarly, students at Harvard Law School were compelled to "ditch" its own similar coat of arms.  Harvard's coat of arms, it turns out, represented the family of Isaac Royall, whose bequest endowed the first professorship of law at Harvard.  The school removed their coat of arms becasue Isaac was the son of an Antiguan, not American, slaveholder. 

Please help us FIGHT to remove the highly offensive and insensitive Fairfax name and Coat of Arms from the county’s school board.

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Stuart Students needs your help with “A Slave Trader & 'Servant' Rapist's Name Represents Our School Board - Let's Eradicate it”. Join Stuart and 79 supporters today.