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Gov. Northam urges Virginia school leaders to change school names, mascots with Confederate ties

'This is no longer acceptable'

FILE - In this June 4, 2020, file photo Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam speaks during a news conference in Richmond, Va. Governors, like Northam, who implemented shutdowns as their states responded to the coronavirus pandemic were among millions of beneficiaries of the loan program created to help small businesses, data released Monday, July 6, show. Northams former medical practice, in which he's still invested, was among beneficiaries. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)
FILE - In this June 4, 2020, file photo Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam speaks during a news conference in Richmond, Va. Governors, like Northam, who implemented shutdowns as their states responded to the coronavirus pandemic were among millions of beneficiaries of the loan program created to help small businesses, data released Monday, July 6, show. Northams former medical practice, in which he's still invested, was among beneficiaries. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

RICHMOND, Va. – Virginia’s governor is making sure the movement to take down monuments and statues memorializing the Confederacy doesn’t just stop there.

Now, Gov. Ralph Northam is urging Virginia’s school leaders to change school names and mascots with Confederate ties as well.

In a letter Northam sent to school board chairs across the state on Monday, he said, in part, “It is time to change school names and mascots that memorialize Confederate leaders or sympathizers.”

Northam said that like the statues, the names of public places, streets and schools “send messages to our children about what we value most as a society.”

Northam said the financial costs of changing school names are “minimal compared to the generations that suffered through American slavery, the Confederacy, the Jim-Crow era, massive resistance, and contemporary manifestation of systemic racism, like the school to prison pipeline.”

This move comes as Richmond removed another statue on Tuesday, this time of Confederate Gen. J.E.B. Stuart, as the Confederacy’s former capital rushes to remove symbols of oppression in response to protests against police brutality and systemic racism.

READ THE FULL LETTER BELOW:


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