The school board overseeing T.C. Williams High School, the Virginia high school that inspired the hit movie "Remember the Titans," has voted unanimously to officially change the school's name. The Alexandria City Public Schools board is changing the name of both T.C. Williams and Matthew Maury Elementary School.
The school had been named for Thomas Chambliss Williams, who served as the corporation's superintendent in the 1950s and famously refused to racially integrate the schools. Matthew Maury served in the Confederate Navy during the Civil War.
"Remember the Titans," released in 2000 to worldwide acclaim, dealt with the themes of racial integration and won awards from both Black Entertainment Television and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
But local community members seemed to largely support the move, including Alexandria organizer Marc Solomon, who said that the reputation of the movie would not be harmed by the district's decision to stop honoring T.C. Williams.
"I haven't found one person who can say one nice thing about T.C. Williams the man," Solomon said. "I have never met one person who can say one positive thing about him, which is weird. I mean folks find reasons to keep names of other places, and I can't find one."
One survey of local residents with 3,000 respondents found that 75% favored the name change.