Prince William County votes to rename schools honoring Stonewall Jackson

In a pair of unanimous votes Monday night, Prince William County, Virginia, renamed two schools that memorialized Confederate Gen. Stonewall Jackson.

The county school board voted to change the name of Stonewall Middle School to Unity Braxton Middle School in honor of local Black couple Celestine and Carroll Braxton.

Celestine Braxton was a county teacher for 33 years, as well as a civil rights activist. Her husband, Carroll Braxton, was one of the first Black men to enlist in the Marine Corps. In 2012, he received the Congressional Gold Medal.

The same motion allows the middle school’s auditorium to be named for John Miller, who is retiring as principal July 1 after 17 years.

The board also voted to change Stonewall Jackson High School’s name to Unity Reed High School.

The name recognizes Arthur Reed, a much-loved security assistant at the high school.

A petition calling for the name change at the high school said Reed was nicknamed “the Godfather of Stonewall.”

The name changes come as a number of schools in the region are under increased scrutiny due to the figures for which they’re named.

A few of those schools include Woodrow Wilson High School in D.C. and T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, Virginia.

Fairfax County recently voted to rename Robert E. Lee High School in Springfield, and Fairfax High School’s sports teams will no longer be known as the “Rebels.”

JEB Stuart High, also part of Fairfax County, was renamed Justice High in 2017.

Michelle Basch

Michelle Basch is a reporter turned morning anchor at WTOP News.

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