Public hearing underway on Hampton schools with Confederate names

Members of the public at a hearing Oct. 26, 2017 in Hampton regarding the topic of possibly changing two schools named for Confederate figures. Some held up signs and argued that the names are against school policy. (Credit: WAVY/Liz Kilmer).

HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) — A public hearing is underway on the topic of possibly renaming two Hampton schools named for Confederate figures.

Requests have been made by organizations like the Hampton NAACP to rename Jefferson Davis Middle School and the Campus at Lee — which was formally Robert E. Lee Elementary School.

The Hampton School Board noted in September that — via its official policy — that the board is responsible for naming and renaming schools in the district.

10 On Your Side’s Liz Kilmer is at Syms Middle School for the meeting. Several people, groups and organizations have spoken at the meeting.

Students from Hampton University urged school board members to change the schools’ names. One who spoke at the event argued that the school district has bigger problems to worry about.

Of the dozen or so people who spoke early in the hearing, many were for the removal of the names. One man at the hearing spoke “in honor” Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee and his accomplishments.

Many viewers chimed hours before the hearing in on a Facebook poll, with a major saying the current names should stay.

APP USERS: Click here to take the poll

A second hearing has been scheduled for Nov. 8 at Hampton High School.