HANOVER COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — The Hanover County School Board will discuss fall reopening plans and potentially changing the names of two schools that memorialize Confederate leaders during a meeting on Tuesday.
Stonewall Jackson Middle School and Lee-Davis High School both could be no more as school leaders prepare for an expected vote Tuesday that could result in them being renamed. No matter what takes place, cries for change are getting louder.
The district was sued by the local NAACP chapter over the names but the lawsuit was dismissed by a federal judge in May. John Gordon served on the Hanover Board of Supervisors for 16 years and the school board for 14 years.
“Hanover County is a county that is very rooted in tradition and very reluctant to change,” Gordon told 8News.
Gordon questions how all students can feel included while attending schools labeled “Home of the Rebels” and “Home of the Confederates.”
“I think that commitment to tradition is standing in the way of progressive change,” he said.
Gordon and six other former school board members sent a letter to current board members urging them to immediately change the names and mascots of the schools.
Another former school board member, Marla Coleman, pushed for the names to be changed during her term. After voting to change the names in 2018, Coleman was not reappointed for another term. She told 8News that she hopes Tuesday’s meeting will bring about change.
“I have a great deal of hope that there will be enough votes of yes! That will take us to the mountain top,” Coleman said.
Tuesday’s virtual meeting will begin at 6 p.m.