Virginia begins dismantling Confederate symbols and names


J.E.B. Stuart High School was named after Confederate general, J.E.B. Stuart. It was renamed to Justice High School in 2017.

Almost 160 years ago, the American Civil War took place and changed the world forever. Virginia played a large role in the war.

After the war, schools, parks, and statues were named after confederate generals and officers. With Virginia becoming a blue state in recent years, these names have caused many problems, especially in Southern Virginia.

People who were offended by the statues of Confederate soldiers such as Robert. E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson petitioned to have them removed. This angered many people who still shared Confederate beliefs and caused extreme tension.

The naming of these schools is extremely offensive and it can make many students uncomfortable, especially students of color. The Confederacy is a negative representation of America’s history and was in support of owning slaves. This is why it’s such a huge controversy.

People have been fighting for the removal and name changes of Confederate statues and schools, but there are some who argue that the removal of these statues and school names is wrong because it’s a part of our history.

Typically, the ones arguing to change the names are of the younger demographic while the people who want to keep them are older.

Northern Virginia, many of the Confederate named schools are being changed. Schools such as Washington-Lee have renamed Washington-Liberty and Justice High School had been known as J.E.B Stuart High School.

Back in October of 2017, the Fairfax County School Board voted to rename J.E.B. Stuart to Justice High School. Washington-Liberty High School, formerly known as Washington-Lee also voted for a renaming of the school. According to WUSA9, the idea for the renaming came about after the deadly protests of white supremacists that occurred in Charlottesville, Virginia. In recent news, the Fairfax County School Board voted unanimously to discuss the plans of potentially renaming Robert E. Lee High School.

Since Northern Virginia is a diverse and versatile part of the state, many people believe that school names should be changed. As stated previously, it is arguable that renaming schools, parks, and statues is “erasing” history. Virginia’s history has been embedded in many ways. There are other ways to remember the history of our state, it doesn’t have to be something that’s negative such as Confederate named schools.

People shouldn’t view the Confederacy as “southern pride”. It is impertinent and reminds people of the pain and suffering that African American slaves faced during their fight for freedom.