Woodrow Wilson Senior High School in northwest Washington has been renamed Jackson-Reed High School as of Friday.
Jackson-Reed High School, the largest secondary school in the District’s public school system, is now named for Edna B. Jackson, the school’s first Black teacher, and Vincent Reed, its first Black principal, the Washingtonian reported.
“The more I learn about these two educators, the more honored I am to lead this school under its new name,” interim Jackson-Reed Principal Gregory Bargeman said in an email Friday to students, parents and staff. “Edna Jackson and Vincent Reed were pioneers in the history of this school.”
The change was approved last year after backlash over what detractors said were racist policies implemented by the school’s former namesake, Woodrow Wilson, during his time as U.S. president from 1913 to 1921.
Historians have noted Wilson segregated the federal government and hosted an airing of the 1915 movie “The Birth of a Nation” that celebrates the Ku Klux Klan and demeans Blacks.
The school’s colors will remain green and white. School officials say it will take time for all references to Wilson to be changed.