Lexington’s Stonewall Elementary School was included in a list of schools named after Confederate figures, but Fayette County schools officials said it shouldn’t have been.
Stonewall Elementary is one of 109 public schools nationwide that were identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as having been named after prominent members of the Confederacy.
The school is in the Stonewall neighborhood and was one of a number of Fayette County schools built decades ago that were named for the neighborhoods in which they were located, said schools spokeswoman Lisa Deffendall.
William M. Ambrose, who has written a history of Fayette County’s public schools, said Stonewall Estates subdivision off Clays Mill Road was developed on land owned by the Sayre family.
The Sayres’ home off Harrodsburg Road “was surrounded by an old masonry stone wall common to area farms,” Ambrose said in a written statement. “Portions of this masonry was used to build the entrance pillars to the subdivision. Examples remain on the north boundary, on Chelsea and Hyde Park Drive, and Buckingham at Arrowhead.”
Deffendall said the school district plans to request that Stonewall Elementary be removed from the Southern Poverty Law Center’s list.
She said schools in Fayette County that are named for people typically include the person’s full name.
The law center says 15 public schools across the country are named for Stonewall Jackson.
Questions have arisen as to the origins of the naming of Breckinridge Elementary, especially as debate raged about whether to move a statue of Confederate leader John C. Breckenridge from the old courthouse.
But the school’s full name is actually Madeline M. Breckinridge Elementary. Madeline M. Breckinridge was a great-granddaughter of Henry Clay who advocated for women’s rights.