Should Orlando school named for Confederate general change its name?

Orange County school leaders debate renaming Stonewall Jackson Middle School

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ORLANDO, Fla. – Orange County school leaders on Tuesday discussed the possibility of renaming a decades-old middle school.

Stonewall Jackson Middle is named after Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, a Confederate general during the Civil War and one of the most well-known Confederate leaders after General Robert E. Lee.

Some parents have been pushing for years to have the district change the name of Stonewall Jackson Middle School in Orlando, saying it’s not a fit for the surrounding community.

Zainab Ibrahim, whose cousin is a student at the school, said she would support a change to the name.

“I think as time goes on, people are becoming more progressive and they’re starting to realize our country’s history,” Ibrahim said. “There are definitely bad parts of the country’s history that needs to be addressed, and a name change, I think, is a good start.”

According to the school district, a 2018 survey showed a majority of the respondents wanted to see a name change at the school.

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The district said a separate survey of 823 people in 2019 showed 64 percent voted to rename the school from Stonewall Jackson Middle School to Jackson Middle School.

Some school leaders, along with others in the community, have previously said the name should be changed entirely.

“Maybe a complete name change would be good, for sure, because that ‘Jackson’ is still there, so it’s a good idea,” Ibrahim said.

Public comment about the possible name change will be heard Tuesday afternoon.

In 2017, the school board changed the name of Robert E. Lee Middle School to College Park Middle.

The School Advisory Council on Tuesday night said they will continue to look into the renaming of the school.

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