Committee considers changing name of Stonewall Jackson Middle School

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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ7) The Roanoke City School District wants to hear from the community about a topic some may consider controversial. The school has created a committee to gather opinions about whether to change the name of Stonewall Jackson Middle School.

The discussion is being brought up now because this is what some people have been asking for.

The middle school is named after confederate general Stonewall Jackson, but that could soon change. But first, the Roanoke City School Board wants to know what the community wants before making an official decision.

That's why they created a committee to form an opinion on the topic.

"We are not making a decision about the name at this point, we are simply listening and collecting community arguments," committee chair Eli Jamison said.

Jamison is a school board member and also the chair of the committee.

"We are responding to a request a series of requests made from people with ties to Stonewall Jackson Middle School," Jamison said.

She said the committee will hold public input meetings to invite everyone to weigh in on the conversation.

"We are deeply invested in making this a local decision we are very interested in hearing the local voices from our community," Jamison said.

The committee wants to hear arguments from both sides before making a decision. She believes the meetings will be civil, but is considering all possibilities.

"That said, we are not being naive and the committee is taking quite seriously the concerns for safety and we are working with local police to make sure things won't get out of hand," Jamison said.

Overall she wants the community to understand one main thing about the committee.

"That we are making a recommendation we are not making a decision about naming or renaming," Jamison said.

The community meetings will happen in March. There will also be a survey online that the community can fill out, also starting in March.