HomeTop StoriesVirginia school board honors Confederate officers – again – by restoring names

Virginia school board honors Confederate officers – again – by restoring names

Four years after the names of Confederate leaders were removed from two schools, a Virginia school board has decided to reverse that decision.

On Friday, the Shenandoah County School Board voted 5-1 to restore the name of Mountain View High School to Stonewall Jackson High School, and Honey Run Elementary School to Ashby-Lee Elementary School. In addition to Jackson, the restored names honor Confederate officers Robert E. Lee and Turner Ashby.

Thomas Streett, a board member who supported the reversal, called the board’s 2020 vote — among other membership — a “kneejerk reaction” and praised Jackson’s values. About 80 people spoke at the meeting, more than 50 of whom opposed the name reversal, NBC News reported.

The racial reckoning that followed the 2020 killing of George Floyd led to a cascade of changes — and promises — across the country. Companies have publicly committed to hiring more people of color and pledged to do better for their Black employees; CEOs made dramatic gestures to show solidarity with Black Lives Matter protesters; and industries rushed to expand their diversity, equity and inclusion, or DEI, efforts.

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Institutions across the South also dismantled monuments honoring Confederate leaders and removed their names from buildings and schools. The decision in Virginia appears to be the first time a school board has reversed this decision. (The same administration had tried this in 2022, but that effort failed.) The move also follows a national pattern of conservatives resisting efforts to make workplaces, schools, libraries and athletics more inclusive and equitable spaces.

This article was originally published on MSNBC.com

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