CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Leaders from around the Lowcountry gathered at Burke High School Thursday to clear the school’s name after they said it was unfairly cast in a negative light thanks to the actions of an alumni.

After former Burke athlete Deljavon Simmons (31) was arrested for a Memorial Day shooting in Downtown Charleston that left 10 injured, the school received unwanted attention. Leaders said the association was irrelevant since the person had not been affiliated with the school in years.

Other alumni also raised concern that the negative attention was overshadowing the school’s many achievements and historic value, especially in the Black community.

Pastor Thomas Dixon said that he and others will continue defending the integrity of the historically Black school, saying “no matter what the neighborhood around them begins to look like, we’re not going to give up on the foundation that they were built on. And it’s not the bricks on the ground. It’s the blood, sweat, and tears of the humans who went there.”

Another concern that was raised during the rally was speculation that the Charleston County School District planned to tear down the school. News 2 reached out to the district, who said they had no such plans to do so.