Fairfax County Public Schools considers changes to school names with Confederate ties


Sidney Lanier Middle School is among 7 schools in Fairfax County that has a name with Confederate ties

FAIRFAX, Va. (WDVM) — Fairfax County Public Schools could be making more changes to school names.

Fairfax County School Board laid out their agenda for their upcoming session on Monday. A portion of the agenda regards a study done by the county to look into school names that have ties to Confederacy, that should be considered for renaming.

Some of the seven schools included were Mosby Woods Elementary School, Robert E. Lee High School, and Sidney Lanier Middle School. While Sidney Lanier draws questions since it is in Fairfax County, it’s technically a city school.

Bill Wilkinson, longtime Lanier Middle School teacher says regardless of what ends up happening to the name, he just wants the right thing to be done. 

“I am nostalgic, I love history, but if the appropriate thing to do is to change the name from Lanier to something that is more encompassing if we find that’s the appropriate thing to do let’s do it. It doesn’t impact me personally even though I have been affiliated with Lanier for so long, I think you have to do the right thing,” said Wilkinson.

Since the County was approached about this story they have changed their agenda by not mentioning Sidney Lanier Middle School by name.  A spokesperson for the School Board of the City of Fairfax said Lanier Middle School is a City of Fairfax School and naming of the City’s schools are the responsibility of the City of Fairfax Schools.

Below are two images taken of the Fairfax County School Board agenda, before and after WDVM reached out for comment, showing that a mention of Sidney Lanier Middle School appears to have been removed.

This was a screenshot taken of the agenda before WDVM reached out to the Fairfax County School Board.

This was a screenshot taken of the agenda after WDVM reached out to the Fairfax County School Board.

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