Reid Elementary School name change considered in recent meeting | Education6 min read
Frances Hazel Reid’s very long career as a newspaperwoman and historian led to a faculty remaining named following her in 2003, but a name alter is becoming regarded as thanks to Reid’s association with a Accomplice sympathizer group.
Reid, a Purcellville resident who died at 94 in 1994, was a Loudoun Periods-Mirror personnel from 1921 until eventually soon prior to her death, according to Heritage Matters, a Richmond-primarily based historic group employed by Loudoun County Public Colleges to analysis the names of educational institutions involved with white supremacy or white supremacist sympathizers.
Frances Hazel Reid Elementary College, at 800 N. King St., in Leesburg, is just one of nine educational facilities remaining regarded for a identify change. The initiative is section of the board’s ongoing attempts to reckon with systemic racism in a county that didn’t combine its faculties until eventually 1968, 14 decades after university segregation was dominated unlawful.
Reid, who began at the Moments-Mirror as a secretary when the the vast majority of gals didn’t get the job done outside their residences, worked at numerous work opportunities at the paper. They provided function in the business enterprise, circulation, categorized and obituary departments. She was also a reporter and treasurer and concluded her profession as an associate publisher.
Reid was also lively in the community. Throughout Environment War II, Reid launched the Loudoun Business enterprise and Skilled Women’s Club that sought equal pay for gals. She was named “Woman of the Year” by the Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce and was appointed director of the Loudoun County Historical Society in 1970.
Reid was also a person of 14 gals who established the Purcellville chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy in 1924. Started in 1894, the UDC helped erect Confederate statues all over the country all through the Jim Crow period and cared for aging Accomplice veterans and their households. In a 2020 report on the American Historical Affiliation Views on Historical past website, Karen Cox, a College of North Carolina-Charlotte heritage professor and author of “No Widespread Floor: Confederate Monuments and the Ongoing Fight for Racial Justice,” said the group’s membership has dwindled in modern many years, but it had up to 100,000 members at the beginning of Earth War I.
“The UDC’s users fast became leaders of the ‘Lost Cause’ interpretation of the Civil War — which recalled Accomplice defeat as a ‘just cause’ even though also dismissing slavery as a central difficulty of the Civil War,” Cox wrote. “Perhaps even far more essential, the UDC dedicated by itself to vindicating the Accomplice era, both of those the gentlemen who fought and the ladies who supported the bring about, by a wide-ranging agenda that incorporated education, preserving pro-Confederate histories, numerous kinds of community commemoration, and lobbying for Confederate houses for troopers, widows, and their descendants.”
Jinny Widowski, UDC president normal, did not return a get in touch with or electronic mail very last week. However, the UDC site, which refers to the Civil War as the “War Among the States,” said the team denounces white supremacists.
“And we contact on these people to cease employing Accomplice symbols for their abhorrent and reprehensible purposes,” the website reported. “We are saddened that some people find everything related to the Confederacy to be offensive. Our Confederate ancestors ended up and are Individuals. We, as an corporation, do not sit in judgment of them. Nor do we impose the criteria of the 19th century on Americans of the 21st century.”
Becky Fleming, president of UDC Lee Chapter 1842 in Purcellville, explained Reid’s grandfather signed papers verifying he was a Accomplice veteran when she served located the chapter. Fleming, who joined the group in 2005, claimed it now has about 20 users and satisfies a several moments per calendar year. Its main mission is sustaining Accomplice headstones and monuments. The team took possession of the Accomplice statue that was removed from the Loudoun County Courthouse in 2020.
Fleming, who explained the group is honors their Confederate ancestors, but is anti-slavery, explained she did not know Reid, but feels its unfair to change the university title centered on Reid’s UDC membership. She mentioned Reid devoted her daily life to investigating nearby historical past and was a “wonderful person” who cared about her group.
“That just blows my mind,” Fleming stated of the proposed identify adjust. “There’s no best man or woman and there is generally heading to be a thing that any individual does not like.”
Fleming said UDC customers commonly keep on being in the team for long periods, but it is unclear how lengthy Reid affiliated with the UDC. Data at the Thomas Balch Library in Leesburg listing her as getting just one of 27 associates as late as 1927. It was a time when segregation was authorized and racism was condoned in Loudoun. The Knights of the Ku Klux Klan — a domestic terrorist organization formed by Confederate veterans soon after the Civil War — overtly operated in Purcellville even with currently being acknowledged as “The Invisible Empire.”
An ad for “K.K.K.K. Decoration Day” appeared in the Periods-Mirror in 1928. The function featured baseball online games, a parade and a speech by the Grand Dragon of Virginia. Afterwards that yr, an ad in the Occasions-Mirror with a racist caricature of a black male, promoted a musical reward featuring “fine singing and dancing” at the Purcellville City Hall with the proceeds likely to “Purcellville Klan, No. 113.”
At an LCPS neighborhood meeting on Dec. 15, Tim Farmer, a former Moments-Mirror editor who labored with Reid for 11 yrs, stated Loudoun’s heritage is “stained by a long time of Jim Crow rules, university segregation, and blatant racism, the outcomes of which are undeniably being endured to this working day.” He said he was stunned to master Reid was a UDC member.
“Because I never ever observed her handle any individual of colour any in different ways than anyone else,” Farmer reported, studying from well prepared remarks. “She was always gracious and dignified with all people she encountered.”
Farmer claimed he understands if the neighborhood chooses rename the faculty, but he thinks Reid’s attitudes progressed.
“Just as we could all hope to alter as we discover, develop, and turn into much better human beings,” he reported. “I consider we really should celebrate that adjust and honor the individual Pass up Reid turned, affiliate publisher of the Loudoun Instances-Mirror.”
Reid school mother or father Jessica LeBlanc explained there is no evidence that Reid supported the Lost Trigger, racism or segregation, which are between the standards for shifting faculty names. She said getting rid of Reid’s name would tarnish her name.
“The totality of her existence and what we definitely know about her contributions to the community are that she was a proponent of equivalent legal rights for ladies, and educating them there is an selection outside the household if that is what they want to do,” LeBlanc claimed. “If the Confederate result in or the Dropped Cause was of any value to her, I think we would totally know about it simply because she was a journalist and experienced each platform that was available to her in the community to shout that from the mountaintops.”
Beverly Tate, LCPS director of scheduling expert services, stated Background Matters and the school district are looking for public enter about Reid. She claimed if the board opts to change the identify, a renaming committee will be fashioned in the next several months. The committee would include things like a school administrator, two staff customers, two mom and dad with learners at the university, two college students, two community members in the faculty attendance zone, a Leesburg Town Council member, and maybe two school alumni.