Harvey D. Peyton: What’s in the name of a school called Stonewall? (Gazette) | Op-Ed Commentaries


“What’s in a name?” Shakespeare’s question implies that mere title is less significant than the object. There are circumstances, however, where a name itself gives the object meaning.

The Gazette-Mail recently inquired of candidates for the Kanawha County Board of Education about changing the name of Stonewall Jackson Middle School. The responses followed three paths: alumni feelings matter and the name will never change; we do not owe “those people” anything; and history means something but if “there is a demand from the community” a change could happen.

It is reasonable to ask why a high school opened in Charleston, West Virginia, in 1940 bears the name Stonewall…

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