Two Virginia schools that were named after a confederate general are set to be renamed in honor of local African-American community members: A couple who fought for equal civil rights and a beloved security assistant.
The Prince William County School Board voted unanimously Monday night to change the names of Stonewall Jackson High School and Stonewall Middle School, WTOP reported.
Each school will carry Unity as part of the name.
“Unity is exactly what our community needs,” said School Board Chairman Dr. Babur Lateef
The lower school's campus will be known as Unity Braxton Middle School, named after a married couple, Celestine S. and Carroll Braxton, who served their country and community despite facing discrimination.
Carroll Braxton trained at a segregated camp then fought with the U.S. Marine Corps in World War II and the Korean War, earning a Congressional Medal of Honor.
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Celestine Braxton taught at Prince William schools for 33 years, including at Stonewall Middle School and a segregated school in Haymarket, Virginia. She also worked to integrate schools in Northern Virginia.
The high school will be called Unity Reed, after an African-American security assistant. Arthur Reed worked at the school for 20 years, until he died.
“He saw Stonewall students for who they were,” a member of the naming committee, Adele Jackson, said. “He embodied the name unity. He loved his school and his students.”
More than 2,300 people signed one petition to name the school after Reed. He was the clear favorite, the school district said in a statement.
More than 775 new names were suggested for the schools.
The school district will work with the principals of each building to move forward in the renaming process.