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IPFS News Link • Virginia

Two Virginia schools will revert to their Confederate names in U-turn four years after board...

• By PERKIN AMALARAJ and GREG WOODFIELD

Virginia school board today voted to reinstate Confederate names to two schools that were stripped of their original names in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement in 2020. 

The school board of Shenandoah County, Virginia, voted 5-1 to undo the 2020 decision, which saw a high school and elementary school stripping the names of three military leaders of the pro-slavery Southern states in the US Civil War: Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee, and Turner Ashby.

The schools were called Stonewall Jackson High School and Ashby Lee Elementary School – both in Quicksburg, Virginia – but were renamed Mountain View High School and Honey Run Elementary School.

The dramatic reversal comes after four years of wrangling following the original name changes during Covid and in the wake of the George Floyd murder by police in Minneapolis that sparked the Black Lives Matter movement.

It is believed to be the country's first case of any schools being realigned with Confederate icons amid continuing public unease over associations with a movement that fought to maintain slavery.

The vote went through despite furious backlash from some residents who had formed a group called Claim the Names to fight the return – and many others who spoke passionately at the public part of the meeting which lasted more than five hours.

School board documents showed the 2020 name change was part of a resolution to condemn 'racism and affirm the division's commitment to an inclusive school environment for all.'


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