Virginia school board is first in the nation to restore Confederate names to two public schools after protests of 2020

The Shenandoah County school board’s U-turn is one of the sharpest examples of a nationwide pushback by conservative groups against the changes that were made after the summer of protests in 2020 following George Floyd’s murder in Minneapolis. At least 160 Confederate symbols were taken down in that year, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks such public emblems.The Guardian

The Guardian reports: “An all-white school board in Virginia has voted to restore the names of Robert E Lee and other Confederate military leaders to two public schools in a backlash to the racial reckoning that followed the police murder of George Floyd.

The decision to restore the names of Lee, Stonewall Jackson and Turner Ashby was taken on Friday morning by the six-member school board in Shenandoah county. Only one of the members voted against the resolution.

The Shenandoah county reinstatement of Confederate names followed a public debate at the school board in which 80 people spoke, according to NBC News, mostly in opposition to the restoration.

They included Alea Ogle, 13, who said that if the Confederate names were restored, as a Black student she would have to attend a school that recognized “a man who fought for my ancestors to be slaves. That would make me feel like I am disrespecting my ancestors and going against what my family and I believe, which is that we should all be treated equally and that slavery was cruel and an awful thing.”

While I never use FOX News Digital as a source, I simply had to add this quote (RMK): “Gloria Markus, who represents District 3, told Fox News Digital that she believes the name change in 2020 was a misguided move divorced from the history of the region. “It is worth noting that the original change came as a response to the George Floyd riots in Minnesota and then-Governor Ralph Northam’s request that the names of schools with names associated with the Confederacy be changed,” Markus told Fox News Digital. She continued, “There were absolutely no instances of racism or events here locally that sparked the need for a change.  Our area in the Shenandoah Valley is steeped in American history, particularly Civil War history, and race is not at all the motivation of our citizens in keeping the names: it is about their history and their heritage.”

Yes, let’s talk about history and heritage, shall we?