Schools to regain their Confederate names after Virginia school board vote

The vote took place in Shenandoah County, Virginia.


An education board in Virginia has voted to restore Confederate-related names to two public schools that had previously had their original names revoked in 2020.

By a 5-1 vote, the board for Shenandoah County, Virginia voted early on Friday morning to restore the names of a high school and elementary school after the names were voted on to be changed in 2020. Board Vice Chairman Kyle Gutshall was the lone "no" vote on the decision to go back to the original names. 

Mountain View High School will have it's name restored to Stonewall Jackson High and Honey Run Elementary School will go back to the name Ashby Lee Elementary, according to WHSV3.  

Over 500 people watched the decision play out on YouTube. Prior to the vote on Friday, the board held a public hearing on Thursday at Peter Muhlenberg Middle School to discuss the proposal of restoring the names. The board members, during the discussion, said that the board took shortcuts in 2020 in order to push the name changes forward.  

“This was not an innocent mistake by some inexperienced school board,” school board member Gloria Carlineo said. “No, this was a carefully choreographed advance of a school board [colluding] to ignore the people they represented.” 

Many attended the public hearing on Thursday, with people clapping or shouting in opposition, depending on what they agreed with.  

“If you vote to restore the name ‘Stonewall Jackson’ in 2024, you will be resurrecting an act in 1959 that is forever rooted in mass resistance and Jim Crow segregation,” one resident said in opposition to the restoration of the original names.  

The vote counters a widespread trend of schools taking away original names associated with the South during the Civil War era and other Confederate heritage that many associate with racism and slavery.  

The trend was partly sparked by the 2020 riots in response to the death of George Floyd. More than 60 schools have disbanded with confederate names, per a report from Reuters.

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