May 13, 2024 - News

Virginia school board votes to restore schools' Confederate names

A picture of a crowd looking at a Confederate general and his horse being removed. The confederate is on a graffitied pedestal.

Workers removing Richmond's Stonewall Jackson statue on Monument Avenue in June 2020. Photo: Ryan M. Kelly/AFP/Getty Images

A Virginia school board voted Friday to reinstate the Confederate names of two public schools that were changed following racial justice protests in 2020.

Why it matters: The Shenandoah County School Board's decision appears to be the first to take such action since officials began removing Confederate symbols four years ago.

The big picture: The 5-1 vote overturns the board's 2020 decision to change the local elementary and high schools' association with Confederate leaders Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee and Turner Ashby.

  • Mountain View High School will be renamed after Stonewall Jackson, and Honey Run Elementary will once again be Ashby-Lee.

Zoom in: The Coalition for Better Schools, a local conservative group, pushed for the move, saying "that revisiting this decision is essential to honor our community's heritage and respect the wishes of the majority."

Background: Ty Seidule's book about the Lost Cause details how 20th-century era statues to Jackson and other Confederate leaders symbolized racial terror, as white southerners embraced a revisionist history about the Civil War.

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