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A Virginia School Board Votes To Restore The Names Of Confederate Leaders At Two Schools | Essence

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A Virginia School Board Votes To Restore The Names Of Confederate Leaders At Two Schools | Essence


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The Shenandoah County School Board in Virginia has decided to restore the names of Confederate generals Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, Robert E. Lee, and Turner Ashby to two local schools. This is a controversial reversal nearly four years after the names were changed amid nationwide protests calling for a reckoning over racial injustice after the murder of George Floyd.

Mountain View High School will once again be called Stonewall Jackson High School, while Honey Run Elementary School will revert to Ashby-Lee Elementary School. NPR reports that the school board approved this change by a 5-1 vote, with proponents arguing that the removal of the Confederate figures’ names in 2020 was a “knee-jerk” response to protests following George Floyd’s murder by police.

However, opponents, including some current students, cautioned that restoring the Confederate names would associate the schools and their county with regressive, racist ideologies. The debate over the name change began last month, marking the second attempt to restore the names after a failed try in 2022.

During the meeting, several students, including Pria Dua and Eden Shelhamer, expressed concerns about the divisive nature of the argument and urged the board to consider the impact on students’ perspectives and values. 

“School board minutes from 1959 reveal that the decision to name our school after Stonewall Jackson was a product of massive resistance,” said Dua, referring to an era when Virginia’s leaders aggressively fought attempts to integrate the state’s schools.

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“I acknowledge that the community has been left divided and unhappy over the initial name change,” Dua said. But, she asked the board, “By taking this step backward in 2024, what foot are we putting forward? What legacy are you leaving behind for my generation to inherit?”

“The fact that this discussion is receiving a disproportionately vast amount of attention from the county deeply disappoints me,” Shelhamer said, “and leads me to wonder whether we are operating in the interests of our students or the preservation of our parents’ pride.”

Aliyah Ogle, a Black eighth-grader and athlete, highlighted the discomfort she would feel representing a figure who fought for her ancestors’ enslavement.

“I would have to represent a man that fought for my ancestors to be slaves,” she said, adding that she would feel as if she’s being disrespectful both to her ancestors and her family’s values.

“It is your job to make our schools a place where all students are valued and respected,” Ogle said. She later added, “If this board decides to restore the names, I would not feel like I was valued and respected, and you would not be doing your job.”

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Some residents, like Stuart Didawick, advocated for restoring the Confederate names based on their familial ties to the community.” We are the majority,” Didawick said, “that’s the way the government works.” He added, “This board has a moral and ethical obligation to the citizens    you represent to undo the dirtiest, most underhanded political stunt in the history of Shenandoah County politics.”

Other residents pushed back on that notion and emphasized the importance of moving forward and not dwelling on divisive historical legacies.



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Virginia

One man arrested, two people injured after a reported stabbing in Virginia

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One man arrested, two people injured after a reported stabbing in Virginia


Police are investigating a double stabbing in Virginia from over the weekend.

The statement said that officers responded around 2:30am on Sunday to the 200 block of Chestnut Street.

They found a man and woman who had injuries. Crews took them to the hospital in Virginia.

According to investigators, the woman has been discharged with non-life threatening injuries. The man remains hospitalized, but he is considered stable.

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The 48-year-old suspect is in the jail in Virginia.

A bloody knife was recovered inside the bathroom at Rainy Lake Saloon.

The investigation is ongoing.



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No license needed during upcoming Free Fishing Days

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No license needed during upcoming Free Fishing Days


VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Free Fishing Days in Virginia are returning!

From June 7 – 9, you can bring your loved ones to the lake or river and enjoy a weekend of fishing without a license.

That’s not the only perk—the restriction on fishing-designated stocked trout waters will be removed during the three Free Fishing Days, according to the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources.

Typically, you need a license to fish on Virginia’s inland waters if you’re 16 and older, with some exceptions. Organizers say Free Fishing Days is a great opportunity to give fishing a try for free and pick up some tips from experts.

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You can borrow rods, reels, tackle and bait for free on Saturday at Mount Trashmore Park from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. There will be staff and volunteers at the park to provide instruction and tips.

For more information and other Free Fishing Days events across the commonwealth, click here.





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Virginia Men’s Golf Earns Repeat Appearance in Match Play at NCAA Championships

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Virginia Men’s Golf Earns Repeat Appearance in Match Play at NCAA Championships


One year ago, Virginia men’s golf advanced to the match play stage of the NCAA Championships for the first time ever. This weekend in California, the Cavaliers did it again.

Behind a brilliant opening two rounds of stroke play, Virginia held on to secure its second-consecutive appearance in match play at the 2024 NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championships at the Omni La Costa Resort North Course in Carlsbad, California. The Cavaliers finished stroke play tied for third and qualified as one of the eight teams (out of 30 schools participating in the NCAA Championships) to advance to the match play bracket.

Virginia will be the No. 3 seed in match play and will take on Auburn in the quarterfinals on Tuesday starting at 10:40am (ET).

After the first round of stroke play, Virginia was tied with Arizona for the lead at 2-over 290 behind a one-under 71 round from George Duangmanee. Round two saw all five golfers shoot quality rounds, led by Ben James and George Duangmanee, who were both one-under for the day, helping the Cavaliers take sole possession of first place at 1-over 577. That marked the first time Virginia has ever been the leader at the halfway point of stroke play at the NCAA Championships.

Illinois used a 6-under 282 team round on Sunday to take the lead, while UVA sat in second at 4-over 868 entering the final day of stroke play. Ben James shot three-under in that third round, putting himself in contention for the individual NCAA title on Monday.

But Virginia experienced a slide on Monday, shooting 7-over 295 in the final round and ultimately finishing in a tie for third place with North Carolina at 11-over 1163. Vanderbilt placed second at +10 and Illinois took first at -6.

Still, the Cavaliers played well enough to keep their season alive and easily advance to the match play stage for the second-consecutive year.

“This is the second year in a row for us to make it to match play,” said UVA head coach Bowen Sargent. “It’s hard because there are so many good teams and so many good coaches and everyone is working hard. You do take a lot of pride in making it to the final eight.”

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Ben James had a chance at the individual title down the stretch of his final round, but recorded pars on each of the final six holes and ultimately finished one stroke behind Georgia Tech’s Hiroshi Tai, who won the individual title. The runner-up finish by James was the second-best ever recorded by a UVA golfer, as Dixon Brooke won the individual title back in 1940.

George Duangmanee finished at 1-over 289, good for 15th place, while Josh Duangmanee was right behind him in 18th place at 2-over 290. Bryan Lee and Deven Patel both shot 12-over 300 and finished tied for 59th.

In 2023, Virginia fell to Florida 3-2 in the match play quarterfinals and the Gators went on to win the 2023 National Championship. Now, the Cavaliers will face a different SEC opponent, but a familiar one. Auburn entered the NCAA Championships as the No. 1 ranked team in the country after winning the Baton Rouge Regional by shooting -21, while Virginia took second at -13. The Tigers placed sixth in stroke place at the NCAA Championships, setting up the quarterfinal meeting with the Cavaliers on Tuesday morning.

See the matchups and tee times for the quarterfinal between Virginia and Auburn below:

Quarterfinal Match Play Lineups (will start on 10th Hole)
Josh Duangmanee (UVA) vs. Carson Bacha (AU) – 7:40 am PT
George Duangmanee (UVA) vs. Brendan Valdes (AU) – 7:50 am PT
Bryan Lee (UVA) vs. Josiah Gilbert (UA) – 8 am PT
Deven Patel (UVA) vs. Jackson Koivun (UA) – 8:10 am PT
Ben James (UVA) vs. J.M. Butler (UA) – 8:20 am PT

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The winner of Virginia-Auburn will take on the winner of Vanderbilt-Ohio State in the semifinals of match play, which will also be played on Tuesday afternoon to determine who will advance to Wednesday’s championship final.

The Golf Channel will provide live coverage of Tuesday’s match play from 1-3:30 pm (ET) for the quarterfinals and from 6-10 pm (ET) for the semifinals.





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