State Watch

NAACP sues Virginia county over Confederate names, mascots

Associated Press/Steven Senne

The NAACP is suing a Virginia school district over the use of Confederate-related school names and mascots, arguing that it forces African American students to participate in discriminatory activities.

According to court filings obtained by CBS affiliate WTVR 6, the NAACP argues that the names of two schools in Hanover County, Stonewall Jackson Middle School and Jackson Lee High School, are discriminatory.

The case has been filed in the Eastern District of Virginia and seeks a court order to change the schools’ names as well as the names of their mascots, arguing that black students should not be forced to refer to themselves as “rebels” or “confederates” to participate in school activities

{mosads}”Forcing public school children to use Confederate names as a condition of participation forces them to engage in speech they disavow, in violation of their First Amendment right to be free of compelled speech,” the NAACP wrote in court filings.

“Forcing African American students to attend a school rife with Confederate imagery and veneration creates a school environment that denies students of color an equal opportunity to an education and violates their right to Equal Protection under the Fourteenth Amendment,” the filings continued.

County officials did not immediately return a request for comment from The Hill.

Tags Confederate General Lawsuit NAACP Virginia
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