NAACP Sues VA School Board That Restored Confederate Names To Schools

The Virginia chapter of the NAACP and five students plan to file a federal lawsuit Tuesday against the school board in Shenandoah County after the six-person body approved a proposal restoring the names of Confederate military leaders to two public schools.

The lawsuit, first reported by NBC News, argues that the school board created “an unlawful and discriminatory educational environment for Black students,” according to a news release announcing the legal action.

The suit alleges that the board, in restoring the Confederate names, violated the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution; Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; and the Equal Education Opportunities Act.

The school board in Shenandoah County passed the controversial measure by a 5-1 margin on May 10, effectively reversing a 2020 decision that changed the names of schools that had been linked to Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, Robert E. Lee and Turner Ashby, three men who led the pro-slavery Southern states during the Civil War.

Mountain View High School went back to the name Stonewall Jackson High School. Honey Run Elementary School went back to the name Ashby-Lee Elementary School.

“My belief is the Shenandoah County School Board reaffirmed their commitment to White supremacy and the celebration of a race-based rebellion against the United States of America with their vote to name public schools after military leaders of the Confederate States of America,” Rev. Cozy Bailey, the president of the Virginia NAACP, said in a statement.

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