Prince William superintendent: rename Stonewall Jackson High

MANASSAS, Va. (AP) — A northern Virginia school superintendent wants to rename a high school and middle school named for Confederate general Stonewall Jackson.

Prince William County Public Schools Superintendent Steve Walts said in an open letter Friday, “We can no longer represent the Confederacy in our schools.”

He wants the school board to immediately rename Stonewall Jackson High and Stonewall Jackson Middle, both in the Manassas area. Creating a new name would require action by the county school board.

Stonewall Jackson earned his nickname at the 1861 Battle of Manassas where he and his men were said to be “standing like a stone wall” and served as a rallying point for a Confederate victory.

Walts’ letter comes a day after Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam said the state would remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from Richmond’s famed Monument Avenue. The Lee statue has been its own rallying point for protesters responding to the death of George Floyd.

In nearby Fairfax County, the school board voted in 2017 to change the name of J.E.B. Stuart High School, referring to another Confederate general, to Justice High. It is also considering a proposal change the name of Robert E. Lee High.

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