Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, and Turner Ashby Ride Again

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Over the last few years there has been a movement to rid America of the sight of anything having to do with the former Confederate States of America (CSA), such as the battle flag of the Army of Northern Virginia and statues of CSA military leaders. The movement has also led to the renaming of schools across America.

An action taken by a school board in Virginia this week indicates that, at least as far as school names go, the tide may be turning. By a five to one vote, the school board of Shenandoah County, Virginia decided to return to two schools in the school district their prior names that referenced CSA military leaders Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, and Turner Ashby. Mountainview High School will again be Stonewall Jackson High School and Honey Run Elementary will return to being Ashby Lee Elementary.

Evelyn Hockstein and Julia Harte, writing at Reuters, note that the board’s decision to reverse the booting of CSA-related school names is a first since the school renaming flurry crossed America:

The vote bucked a four-year trend of U.S. schools and other public buildings and institutions removing names and symbols associated with the Confederacy, following nationwide racial justice protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd in 2020.

Among more than 60 schools that have abolished Confederate appellations across the country since 2020, none had reversed course until now, according to the trade publication Education Week, which has tracked the issue.

Is this school board’s action the start of a new trend? Time will tell.

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