Education

Despite opposition, California congresswoman stands firm in bid to rename Lejeune High School to honor the late Walter B. Jones

Lejeune High School

A California congresswoman is not deterred by the groundswell of opposition to her bid to rename Lejeune High School in honor of the late North Carolina congressman Walter Jones.

A spokesperson for U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier, a Democrat who represents parts of San Mateo and San Francisco, said there are no plans to withdraw the amendment to the national defense bill to rename the school after Jones.

“It’s still headed to conference with the Senate,” the spokesperson said. “And the office has received a lot of supportive calls and emails for adding the late-Rep. Jones’ name to the school’s names as well.”

Speier, chairman of the House Armed Service Personnel Subcommittee, is the lone sponsor of the amendment to rename the school after the longtime Republican lawmaker from Eastern North Carolina who died in February.

She and Jones became friends while working on numerous national defense issues and ways to improve the lives of men and women serving in the military.

Lejeune High alumni and others who support the school are appreciative of the work Jones did serving Eastern North Carolina, but they’ve made it clear they don’t want the name of the school changed.

Alumnus Ric Logg has started an online petition to stop the proposed name change.

“We don’t want to denigrate Rep. [Walter] Jones’ memory or devalue his work, we just don’t want our school’s name changed,” Ric Logg, who attended the school from 1978-81, told Policy Watch last month.

Here are some of the comments posted after Policy Watch published a story about the proposal last month:

“There is absolutely no valid reason or logical thought that the name of the school should be changed,” Thomas Ryan wrote. “The effort to rename the school lacks a positive thought by most all who are aware of this endeavor, alumni, students, parents of students and US Marines that served on this very large base over the many years.”

Robert H. Quinter had this to say:  “[It’s] Inappropriate to memorialize a politician aboard a USMC facility. Let us remember our own and be as apolitical as possible.”

The high school of roughly 500 high school military dependents is operated by the Department of Defense Education Activity and is located on Camp Lejeune in Onslow County.

Lejeune High is beloved by the students who attended it, even those who didn’t graduate because of the transient nature of military service. For many current and former students, the school is the one thing that binds them.

The base and the high school are named in honor of Lt. Gen. John Archer Lejeune, who is widely considered the greatest Marine to wear the uniform.

So, the Lejeune name carries a lot of weight with active and retired Marines.

Lejeune High is operated by the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA). The DoDEA operates 168 schools in Europe, the Pacific and United States.

A spokesman for the department said DoDEA is aware of the pushback to the proposed name change.

“We’re working very closely with the Marines to gather information on the issue and look at the applicable regulations,” said William Griffin, the DoDEA spokesman.

Lejeune High was founded in 1944 as Camp Lejeune High School, but was renamed Lejeune High School in 1990.

11 Comments


  1. Hilary Blois Moore

    August 6, 2019 at 8:46 pm

    As a military brat we dont have much in our lives that is a main stay. We are constantly up rooted and moved. We always have to find new friends, meet new teachers, get used to new neighbors. Our memories are really all we have. Lejuene High is my alma mater. It would break my heart to have the name changed. It would just heba building then, when fact for many of us, it is so much more. I pray this does not happen.

  2. Annette Kennedy

    August 6, 2019 at 9:18 pm

    I am one of the Alumni from Lejeune High School. Never in all our moving around did I feel at home as much as I did when we were stationed at Camp Lejeune. Lejeune High was a School where I fit in. Other students understood about the constant moving, they were opened mined and welcoming to all who came. Many of our teachers understood military culture and the difficulties in our situation. The hardships of your Dad or Mom being deployed and how it impacted the families. We all have such respect for General John Lejeune and are proud that our High School is named after him! We come home to Lejeune High every five years for a reunion. Not just one years class but every year! The name of our school represents a strong man, maybe one of the best Marines who ever served. It represents all of our student body and Alumni. We are like General John Lejeune, STRONG! Our names needs to stay the same to honor General Lejeune!

  3. JaneCarroll

    August 6, 2019 at 9:38 pm

    We are distressed at the possibility of our school’s being renamed for a politician much less someone who was never a member of the USMC

  4. Theresa

    August 6, 2019 at 9:50 pm

    Please stop this name change. He was from a jones County, why not honor him by adding his name to the high school in his home county? Seems like a more fitting honor

  5. LHS Alumni

    August 6, 2019 at 10:09 pm

    Camp Lejeune High School (CLHS) changed name to Lejeune High School (LHS) in 1968.

  6. Debi

    August 7, 2019 at 7:47 am

    Isn’t it nice that she is ignoring the will of the students, both past and present, families, staff and military members aboard Camp Lejeune. If Mr. Jones supported the military as strongly as she says he did then he would not want this change if it was going against the wishes of those military member and their dependents. It’s clear she has never served in the military as she doesn’t understand the importance of tradition. I’m also doubting the authenticity behind this statement on her website “Speier is committed to keeping the United States secure from terrorists and hostile nations and honoring and supporting our veterans, military servicemembers, and their families.“ That last part about honoring and supporting service members and their families contradicts her current actions of proceeding with something very clearly against the wishes of service members and their families.

  7. Suzette Taylor

    August 7, 2019 at 10:48 am

    I am the spouse of a retired Marine, mother of 2 adult military “brats” (as they refer to themselves), and a retired teacher (16 years at Camp Lejeune Dependents’ Schools. I am vehemently opposed to renaming Lejeune High School since it has already been named after our 13th Commandant of the Marine Corps. Taking his name off this building would be a slap in the face to his family as well as to all graduates and Marines who honor General John A. Lejeune.

    Congressman Jones was a fine man and also deserves recognition. Just select a NEW building, school, highway, Bridge, etc. to name after him. I cannot imagine his family would approve of disappointing so many students, faculty, Marines, and citizens of his former district by causing such an uproar. Why not ask them if it is worth proceeding before creating so much unhappiness?

  8. LHS Alumni

    August 7, 2019 at 2:34 pm

    There is a published error in this article and the previous article California congresswoman wants to rename Lejeune High School to honor the late Walter B. Jones. Camp Lejeune High School (CLHS) changed the name to Lejeune High School (LHS) in 1968. Thank you, Greg Childress, for bringing attention to this matter.

  9. Brenda Childers

    August 7, 2019 at 5:35 pm

    I too am an Alumni from LHS even though did not get to finish my senior year there I consider it my high school. Some of my best school memories are from here. The school is named after a wonderful Marine commandant so why do we need to change it. Ms Speier professes to hold the military and families in high regard. Her actions say differently. Ms Speier please act decently to these dependents and withdraw this from the bill.

  10. Anthony McPheeters, Lt Col, USAF (Ret)

    August 7, 2019 at 7:02 pm

    ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!??!! What does the late Walter B. Jones’ military record look like? How many deployments did he volunteer for? What does his Medal of Honor citation say about him? Answer — nada dagone thing! He’s a lousy politician, nothing more. The base and the school are already named after the greatest Marine to ever wear the uniform. Politicians who have not served have no right to even stand in the shadow of a military veteran. Politicians are not civil servants; they have proven themselves to be nothing more than parasites.

  11. Lou Anne Kent-Masterson

    August 9, 2019 at 1:36 pm

    Please Do Not rename our High School! My father 33 years as a Marine moved our family (5 children) almost every two years! It was not until we moved to Camp Lejeune, NC did we get to “take our packs off.” Military term! It was oldest sister’s senior year – did not go over very well, my junior year, younger sisters freshman and 6th grade year – we all fell in Love! Three of us graduated from Lejeune High School, the fourth entered ninth grade, but my father got orders to NATO. Memories we share, really the only place where we could go to learn and develop Lasting Friendships! Safe and Secure! Every five years Lejeune High School has their Reunion! The Reunion is a Very Big Deal – a weekend Reunion! Visit and walk the halls of our Alma Mater! We are Devil Pups and we are Lejeune High School! As dependents of Marines, we deserve to have our high school left alone – Lejeune High School! Not Walter B. Jones Camp Lejeune High School! Rep. Jones was a great man who worked tirelessly for the military, and deserves a memorial and recognition, but to rename OUR HIGH SCHOOL is not what should be done! Walter B. Jones Was Not a Marine! We are Dependents of Men and Women who are and were Marines! Please do not take away our Devil Pup memories! Thank you.

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