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Made famous by 'Remember the Titans', T.C. Williams High School to get name change after unanimous school board vote

It is one of two schools that will have its name changed by Alexandria Public Schools in the coming year.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — T.C. Williams High School, made famous by the Disney movie "Remember the Titans", will be renamed after a 9-0 school board vote by Alexandria Public Schools on Monday.

The man for whom T.C. Williams High School is named, Thomas Chambliss Williams, was a segregationist who was the superintendent of Alexandria city schools for 30 years. He was very outspoken about his beliefs to keep black students and white students in separate schools. 

The vote comes after a petition to the Alexandria City School Board to change the name that was started at the beginning of 2020. 

RELATED: Petition circulating to change name of T.C. Williams High School, made famous in 'Remember the Titans'

T.C. Williams High School is best known for its depiction in "Remember the Titans" starring Denzel Washington. Based on the true story of football coach Herman Boone -- who passed away in 2019 -- it portrays Boone's efforts to integrate the T.C. Williams High School football team back in 1971. 

In 2004, when residents tried to change the name, one of the reasons it was not changed was out of fear that famed 1971 Titans football team would be forgotten.

"You can ‘Remember the Titans’ without honoring TC Williams," Alexandria resident Marc Solomon said back in June. "The movie wasn’t called ‘Remember TC Williams.'"

Solomon started a petition to rename the high school for a simple reason. 

“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."

T.C. Williams was the superintendent of Alexandria City Public Schools from the mid-1930s to mid-1960s, and was opposed to desegregation in schools, refusing to allow black students to learn alongside their white neighbors.

The school board also announced in its meeting that the name of Mathew Maury Elementary will also be changed.

RELATED: 'Remember the Titans' football coach Herman Boone, played by Denzel Washington, dies at 84

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