Draft plan proposed to rename schools with Confederate names in Shenandoah County
HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) — Following a decision to remove the names of Confederate leaders from two of its schools, the Shenandoah County Public Schools have laid out plans on the process of doing so.
Superintendent Mark Johnston was directed by the school board to develop the process which would need the school board's approval.
According to a draft proposal to be presented during Thursday night's school board meeting, committees will be formed to change the names of Stonewall Jackson High School and Ashby Lee Elementary School. Another committee would change the mascot of the North Fork Middle School.
Each committee would be made up of students, staff and community members. Each committee will have two co-chairs which would comprise of a student and a staff member. A facilitator will be appointed by the school board to assist the co-chairs.
A detailed look at how each committee would be formed can be found here.
The name suggestion criteria suggest a preference for schools to be named after the following: names reflecting the geographic or historical features of the area, names reflecting the community and area which it serves, avoidance of names that could cause confusion with other schools in Shenandoah County and/or with schools in adjoining jurisdictions and other areas of Virginia and names that are considered famous historical figures who have made significant contributions to the advancement of education in Shenandoah County, in Virginia or in the nation.
According to the draft proposal, the school board’s policy states no school or facility can be named after a living person. Schools and facilities can be named after individuals who have been deceased for at least 10 years.
Before the school board would vote, there will be a public hearing.
The Shenandoah County school board is expected to vote on the process at its September 10 meeting.
According to the draft plan, the earliest the schools’ names would be changed is July 31, 2021.
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