NAACP Hampton Chapter hosts unity rally to drop the names of Confederate leaders from schools

Posted at 6:12 PM, Aug 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-20 20:15:42-04

HAMPTON, Va. - Demonstrators from different backgrounds were hand in hand with one goal in common of removing Confederate names from Hampton City schools.

The NAACP Hampton Chapter sent a letter to the school board on August 18th to ask for the names of Jefferson Davis Middle School and Performance Learning Center at Campus Lee to be changed.

"To have a name on a school that represents hate, segregation, slavery, KKK and the whole nine yards is just wrong," said Gaylene Kanoyton, president of the NAACP Hampton chapter.

Inside the City of Hampton School Board's policy manual, it states that elementary and middle schools are named in honor of people who have shown outstanding service to mankind and their community.

Kanoyton added, "Clearly Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee does not meet that criteria."

The community asked the school board to rename Jefferson Davis Middle School last year, but there wasn't enough support for the change.

A demonstrator who spoke at the unity rally said, "Just a handful of folks opposed it. When I say opposed it wasn't enough to really make a difference, but we have the nucleus this afternoon to make a difference."

Some organizations feel that cost might be a concern in changing the school names. They tell News 3 it might take community effort to make it happen.

Christine Payne with the Peninsula Indivisible Group said, "I think we would more than fund the schools name change without negatively impacting on the budget."

No City of Hampton School Board members were at the unity rally this afternoon.

News 3 has attempted to make contact with each member, but did not hear back from them by news air time.

The NAACP Hampton Chapter with make their case at the next school board meeting on September 6th.