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Falls Church to removes Thomas Jefferson and George Mason school names

Decision made despite community survey showing broad support to keep the names.

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FALLS CHURCH. Va. – A school board in a northern Virginia city has voted unanimously to change the names of a high school and elementary school named for founding fathers George Mason and Thomas Jefferson.

The vote Tuesday by the school board in Falls Church came despite a community survey that showed broad support for keeping the names of George Mason High School and Thomas Jefferson Elementary.

In the survey, just 26% thought the George Mason name should be changed, while only 23% felt that the Thomas Jefferson name should be changed.

Supporters of the change said the men’s legacy as slaveholders makes them unworthy of being honored in such a fashion.

New names have not yet been chosen.

The changes come as schools throughout Virginia and the South have removed names honoring Confederate leaders. Names honoring slaveholders and segregationists have also been targeted.

It will cost more than $100,000 to change the names, according to estimates.

Mason is the city’s only public high school.