HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — Alumni, students, parents and supporters of J.O. Johnson High School are marching for a cause.
Royal blue and bright yellow. Those are the colors you wear if you’re a J.O. Johnson Jaguar. Lately though, being a Jaguar comes with a struggle.
The name J.O. Johnson might not be around much longer. The high school is moving, but it’s not taking the name that has been synonymous with the Jaguars for decades with it.
So that’s why hundreds of people who are proud to call themselves Jaguars are marching through downtown Huntsville. They’re trying to let school officials know the proposed name change isn’t okay with them.
In the crown of Jaguars, clutching a big blue and yellow sign that can’t be missed is Michelle Rooks. Unlike her peers, getting here wasn’t simply a trip across Huntsville. “(I came) from Birmingham. This morning. I woke up this morning, I couldn’t sleep, I just had to be here today,” Rooks says.
She says the two hours trip was worth every mile.”They can’t take this school. This school has a legend,” she says.
Chris Horn graduated a year before Rooks. He says even if the name changes, that’s all that will change.”It’ll be ever J.O. Johnson High School. You can’t change what we are as people. I am J.O. Johnson. These people, are J.O. Johnson,” Horn says.
That’s a sentiment the marchers all say they share, but they don’t want Johnson to become merely a memory.
So with Rooks at the front of the line, they say they’re doing everything they can to make sure Huntsville knows. “J.O. Johnson High School, we are here to stay,” Rooks says.