In response to the recent upheaval and violence over everything Confederate across the nation, public schools are now addressing the issue by making changes to their school policies, school names, and dress codes.
At their school board meeting Thursday night, the Durham, North Carolina, the board voted by a show of hands, in a 7-0 vote, to approve revisions to the student dress code, banning all clothing containing symbols of the Confederate flag, Ku Klux Klan or swastikas.
The board didn’t stop with the dress code, however. They also voted unanimously to change the name of the middle school building at the Durham School of the Arts. The building had been named after Durham industrialist and philanthropist Julian Shakespeare Carr.
Carr’s name was stripped from the school building, due to comments he made during the dedication of the Confederate memorial at UNC at Chapel Hill, which were considered racist.
The Herald Sun reported what the board objected to so heavily;
At the dedication of the memorial, Carr, a Confederate Civil War veteran, spoke about the purity of the Anglo-Saxon race and talked in great detail about how he beat an African-American woman because she had insulted a white woman. “He spoke in explicit detail about beating an African-American woman, describing her using words I will not repeat here, ‘until her skirts hung in shreds,’ for the sin of insulting a white woman and running for protection to the federal soldiers garrisoned there,” DPS Superintendent Bert L’Homme said Thursday.
Additionally, L’Homme said school officials will now be “reviewing” the names of all its schools and school buildings.
Carr’s name was yanked off the building Friday morning, just before students returned from their summer break Monday, the Herald Sun reported.
A plaque is being proposed that would be hung on the wall explaining why the school board removed Carr’s name from the building. Board vice chairman Steve Unruhe said this action would “preserve history by talking about what we’re doing and … make a statement that we’re not honoring that particular action, but we want our children to know the complexity that makes up our history.”
The newly revised policy bans items: “reasonably expected to intimidate other students on the basis of race (for example the Confederate battle flag, Nazi swastika, and Ku Klux Klan or KKK) religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, socioeconomic status, academic status, gender identity, physical appearance, sexual orientation, mental, physical, developmental, or sensory disability, immigration status, or any other classification that is protected by law, regulation or Board policy.”
School board chairman Mike Lee said in the past, it has been left up to the principals to address dress code policy, but now they must specifically list symbols that are “intimidating” to some students.
“I felt it was really important for us to get specific, [call-out] examples of the kinds of things that are bubbling up now,” Lee stated.
A notice was sent out to parents alerting them of the new changes. “Though there have been several revisions to the new dress code policy, there are some significant changes in the new policy that deserve highlighted attention,” the statement reads. “In particular, there are new prohibitions about items that are reasonably expected to intimidate other students.”
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