Posted on August 19, 2019

NAACP Sues over Confederate Names on Virginia Schools

Brad Kutner, Courthouse News, August 16, 2019

A Virginia chapter of the NAACP filed a federal lawsuit Friday against a Richmond-area school district for using the names of Confederate leaders on two school buildings, claiming it forces black students to support a legacy of oppression.

Filing its 31-page complaint in Richmond federal court, the Hanover County NAACP seeks to change the names of Lee-Davis High School as well as Stonewall Jackson Middle School, calling them “vestiges of a shameful, racist educational system.” {snip}

The group, represented by lead attorney Azadeh Erfani of the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs, claims the continued use of the names violates students’ First Amendment right to free speech and Fourteenth Amendment right to equal protection.

It also accuses the schools of violating the Equal Educational Opportunities Act by failing to “take affirmative steps towards removing the vestiges of the dual, segregated system.”


The two schools sit in rural Hanover County, just north of Richmond. The lawsuit says black students of the school must adhere to policies supporting the schools’ mascots – the Rebels and the Confederates – and “endorse the violent defense of slavery pursued by the Confederacy and the symbolism that these images have in the modern white supremacist movement.”


“The deliberate retention of those names creates a stigma against and feeling of inferiority among African American students who attend Lee-Davis HS and Stonewall Jackson MS,” the lawsuit states. {snip}