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Editorial: Is school renaming going to become a ping-pong match?

Tug of war would not seem to be the best use of anyone's time, but that's the era we live in

The Confederacy has risen again in not-too-far-away Shenandoah County, where the School Board last week voted to restore previous names of two schools that had been excised by an earlier board in 2020.

Mountain View High School will revert to honoring Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, while Honey Run Elementary School will revert to its old name of Ashby-Lee, which honors Confederates Turner Ashby and Robert E. Lee.

The fact that the initial dump-the-Confederate-names mania, which swept like a tsunami through Northern Virginia and other liberal-leaning locales a half-decade ago, reached as far as Shenandoah County, where Donald Trump won nearly 70% of the vote and Joe Biden less than 30% in 2020, tells you that, apparently, there may have been a disconnect between residents and those on sitting on the community’s school board.

That appears to have changed: All those who voted for the name changes in 2020 are now off the board for one reason or another, and the 5-1 vote on May 9 was an indication where the newish members stand on the issue.

We’re neither praising nor criticizing this round of name changes, but do fear that we’ll be seeing a ping-pong effect across the country. School board members of certain leanings will rename schools, then when they are gone, those with other political inclinations will reverse course. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Seems not the most productive use of the time of education leaders, but it’s for the voters in any jurisdiction, not us, to render a verdict on the appropriateness of such actions.