Posted on December 30, 2005

Harlandale Board Considers Renaming ‘Stonewall’ School

Michelle M. Martinez, San Antonio Express-News, Dec. 14, 2005

The debate comes down to this: Was Stonewall-Flanders Elementary School named for the legendary Confederate general Stonewall Jackson or for stone fences that adorned front yards in the neighborhood?

Harlandale Independent School District trustees will consider the question as they decide whether to grant a former district administrator’s request to rename the school after César Chávez, the late social activist.

“We don’t have any historical evidence that it was, indeed, named for Stonewall Jackson,” district spokesman David Ochoa said Monday, when the Board of Trustees heard the proposal.

Nick Calzoncit thinks otherwise, though he can provide no concrete evidence to support his theory.

He has gathered 367 verified signatures within the school’s attendance boundaries. Under district policy, he needed 351 signatures, or half the school’s total enrollment, before district officials would consider his proposal.

The board could vote or decide not to take action at its January meeting.

Calzoncit says Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson was a racist and the school should not bear his name.

“I evaluated all the schools in San Antonio that are named after racists and bigots,” he said. “Stonewall stood out as the worst of all of the people.”

Parent Monica Delgado said she has nothing against César Chávez, but the Stonewall name has been a part of the community for decades. The school opened in 1924.