New Wake County school will be named Apex Friendship High School

August 7, 2013 1:22:31 PM PDT
After months of petitioning and controversy the Wake County School Board voted to keep "friendship" in the name of its new Apex Friendship High School.

Some board members say there are more important things going on in the educational system than fighting over a name. However, some parents may send their kids to a different school because of that name.

"It is us adults that better get in gear and start teaching our students how to act better," said school board member Jim Martin.

It's a stern message from some board members.

"I'm a little surprised that we have this much energy, conflict, controversy over the naming of a school," said Wake County School Board Chairman Keith Sutton.

It was an emotional battle over whether to name a new school in the apex area "West Apex High" or "Apex Friendship High."

Friendship is a historic community on the outskirts of Apex known for its inclusion of all races.

"The next generation and the generation after that deserves something that will acknowledge that community where there roots are," said Louis Powell, who supports the Friendship community.

Others say "Friendship" isn't appropriate.

"I think it's associated with religious schools and that's not the intent of this school," said parent Cyndi Edgington. "I think it's associated with preschools. I mean, that's a fact."

There were even two online petitions with hundreds of signatures each, but with a vote of five-to-three, the board approved Apex Friendship High School at its Tuesday meeting.

Edgington created the petition to keep the friendship name out.

"In my opinion, students will feel more connected to a school named West Apex instead of friendship," said Edgington.

She says the board should do what's best for kids and families, for public education, and not politics. The board believes that's what they're doing.

"I don't know that the name West Apex, or Friendship, or Town of Apex, whatever? I don't think any of those quite frankly support academic achievement. I think it's the teachers, [and] the administrators that were hired in that school."

The school is scheduled to open in 2015.

Edgington said she has a lot of options to send her kids to other schools if they decide not to go to Apex Friendship High School.  

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