Schools in a Virginia county must reinstate confederate designations

After an hours-long meeting, the Shenandoah County School Board voted early Friday morning to reinstate the names of three federal officials to schools in the district.

With the vote, the district appears to be the first in the nation to return confederate designations to schools delisted after the summer of 2020, according to researchers at the Montgomery, Ala.-based Equal Justice Initiative.

The vote reversed a decision made four years ago after the killing of George Floyd sparked nationwide calls for a racial census. In a virtual meeting in July 2020, a summer of pandemic and protests, the board voted 5-1 to drop the names of two schools, Ashby-Lee Elementary and Stonewall Jackson High, which were inconsistent with a recently passed resolution condemning racism. The schools were renamed Honey Run and Mountain View the following year.

But a furor was unleashed in a rural district in the hills of Virginia. People flocked to school board meetings, denouncing the naming process as secretive and rushed, and expressing deep dissatisfaction with the cultural changes being forced upon them.

After a repeat vote in 2022 ended in a tie, the name was changed. But detractors vowed that Stonewall Jackson would be revived. And on Friday, he.

“When you read about this man — who he was, what he stood for, his character, his faith, his leadership, what a godly man he was — those standards he had were far higher than any leadership in the school system in 2020,” said Tom Street, one of the board members. . He and four of his five colleagues later voted to bring back Jackson and other names.

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