HENRICO COUNTY, Va. — Over the next few weeks, the Henrico County School Board be taking suggestions on what name should replace Harry F. Byrd at the West End middle school that bared the former U.S. Senator’s name since it opened in the 1971.
Earlier this month, the Board agreed to change the name after a grassroots effort convinced members having a school named after a man who supported school segregation was not appropriate.
“It seemed wrong and changing the name seemed like the right thing to do,” Jordan Chapman, a Hermitage High School student who helped lead the effort, said.
When it opened in 1971, the school was named for Harry Flood Byrd, a state senator, governor and U.S. senator, and the dominant figure in Virginia politics for much of the 20th century. Besides a fiscally conservative “pay-as-you-go” policy of public funding, Byrd is often regarded as the architect of Massive Resistance. The term refers to Virginia’s strategy of opposition to federally mandated racial integration of public schools in the 1950s and 1960s, which resulted in some schools closing. Byrd died in 1966.
There are several ways to suggest a new name for the middle school:
Sue Largen, Clerk of the School Board
3820 Nine Mile Road
Henrico, Va. 23223
Phone: (804) 652-3808 (business hours are Mon-Fri, 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.)
If you leave a voicemail, please state your name, your suggestion, and your contact information