Earlier this month, West Virginia’s most famous mountain school divided into two, as several elementary schools were changed to Stonewall Jackson and Fort McHenry to promote the 150th anniversary of the battles of both historic sites. The purpose, according to officials: Raise money to re-decorate the state capitol and build a hall for the state’s future state champion team. (E)
“For me, they’re icons. And I see it as our highest calling as a school system to paint our buildings as well as paint our hearts,” Charleston superintendent Dale Dryer told CBS News. “But I’ve also had people come up to me and say, well, that’s not a good idea. You don’t buy advertising to put on your walls.”
By Jena McGregor for CBS News
The banner says “Fort McNair #4 School.”
“You always want to make sure people are aware of their historic significance,” he said. “It’s a good thing to know so you can maintain it.”
It may sound harmless, but another district superintendent says it was a divisive decision. “This is clearly the wrong way to do it,” said Durwood Beaman, superintendent of school district Vinton, W.Va.
Now, that WV elementary school is in debt. “The fiscal impact of a $5,500 purchase of tickets is $25,200,” Beaman said.