Titans may be remembered, but T.C. Williams to be forgotten

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The city of Alexandria’s only public high school is getting a new name after the school board unanimously voted to remove the name of segregationist educator T.C. Williams.

The T.C. Williams Titans have national name recognition after the 2000 Denzel Washington film “Remember the Titans” told the story of the team’s state football championship in 1971, the year that previously segregated high schools in the city were merged into T.C. Williams.

The school board voted unanimously Monday to remove the name after a public survey found 75% support for the change. A new name has not been selected.

Williams was a former superintendent of Alexandria public schools who fought desegregation even after the 1954 Brown vs. Board of Education Supreme Court ruling, saying that Blacks and whites should be segregated because they “learned differently.”

The board also voted to change the name of Maury Elementary, named for a Confederate admiral.

It expects the T.C. Williams name change to cost about $325,000 - mostly for new uniforms - and about $5,000 for the elementary school.

Numerous schools throughout the state and South moved this year to change the names of schools honoring Confederate leaders.