Prince William County to rename schools honoring Confederate general Stonewall Jackson

The Prince William County School Board approved resolutions to rename two schools that honor Confederate general Stonewall Jackson.

The Monday vote will change the names of Stonewall Middle School and Stonewall Jackson High School both located in the Manassas area.

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Stonewall Middle School will be renamed Unity Braxton Middle School to honor equal rights trailblazers Celestine and Carroll Braxton. The building's auditorium will be named after its long-time principal, John G. Miller.

"Unity is exactly what our community needs," said Prince William County School Board Chairman and renaming committee member, Dr. Babur Lateef, in a statement. "This change should have happened long ago. This is a result of a grassroots effort of community members," Lateef added.

Stonewall Jackson High will be renamed Unity Reed High School to honor the legacy of Arthur Reed, a long-time security officer at the school. He was beloved by students and staff. 

When they decided to rename the school, the school board received hundreds of suggestions, but Reed was the clear favorite. 

FOX 5's Lauren DeMarco spoke with Reed's daughter Tuesday evening. 

"We’re just kind of just in shock right now," said Ariel Reed Singh. 

Singh says her dad worked at the high school for 13 years after retiring from a career in law enforcement. She says her dad loved going to the school every day and the family didn’t even realize how close he was with some of the students until after he passed away. 

"He was very private if the students told him something he would keep it in confidence," said Singh.

Students called Reed "The Godfather of Stonewall" saying he “embraced and represented all that is good in our community.”

Reed passed away suddenly one morning in 2018 while at home getting ready for the school day.  

Singh says after her father's passing, the family received an incredible outpouring of support from students. On this new honor, she says: "He would be over the moon."

The vote came after two public input sessions during which 775 suggestions for new names were received.

The school division will work with the building principals on the next steps in the renaming process.