Your Views: New name needed for T.C. Williams High School

Portrait of T.C. Williams for the high school dedication ceremony program in 1965. (Photo Credit: Alexandria Public Library Local History/Special Collections)

To the editor:

I’ve enjoyed your series on civil rights in Alexandria. It made me sad, however, that the high school continues to carry the name of a segregationist, former Alexandria public schools superintendent Thomas Chambliss “T.C.” Williams. It seems that Alexandria has evolved and perhaps the school should be renamed.

I would suggest the school be renamed for the Turner family and the other brave kids who integrated Alexandria’s schools. By keeping the name as T.C. Williams, it reinforces the sadness, hatred and division of a horrendous chapter in the city’s history. By naming the high school for the brave African American children who enrolled in the schools at that time, we celebrate unity, progress, healing, fortitude and integrity.

– Ines Alicea, Alexandria



  1. What we need to do in the country currently is stop erasing history and using the excuse of it reinforcing hatred, sadness and events that took place, we need to leave the monuments and names as is so as to not repeat the mistakes of the past. What I find so amusing is that none of these issues came up or were supported and enacted upon until the Obama administration and since then when he promoted the hatred of history and law enforcement, it has created greater and more division within the country that has ever existed in the 240+ years of existence as a nation. Stop the political agendas of removing the history of the nation, I don’t see anyone promoting the removal of any MLK monuments, streets or names from anything and it is documented fact that he was against illegal aliens being allowed into the country and protections so that would make him somewhat of a racist as well in reference to Hispanics that come into the country, it is part of what made the country and evolved it as well leave it alone and learn from it so as to not repeat it not erase so that future generations don’t know and don’t repeat what occurred.

  2. Then surely, given they were slave owners, we need to rename every George Washington or Thomas Jefferson school in the country!

    TC was at the forefront, indeed a forerunner, of racial integration in Alexandria. I know, I was there (1966-1970). It hardly stands out as an example of white exploiting black.

    Renaming TC destroys its history. All you’d succeed in, is an exercise in rebranding to suit a modern paradigm on race relations.

  3. if you erase our history you’ll be more than likely to repeat it, that’s why we keep history to remind us of our past both the good and the bad. I graduated TC in 71, half of my best friends were black, most of the body got along quite well, we need to stop trying to erase history, you can’t erase reality you can only try to improve it, it’s not the name of the school or the segragationalist it’s named after, it’s students who attended and their memories that makes the school. Change the name and you’re changing the reputation and memories of the students that made the name great.