(Dec. 10. This was an official editorial of the Washington Examiner): The Falls Church City Public Schools board in Virginia beclowned itself this month by voting unanimously to remove the names of founders Thomas Jefferson and George Mason from an elementary school and a high school, respectively.

The names will be removed because each of the famed Virginians owned slaves. The change, said board Chairman Greg Anderson, is “a necessary part of our equity work,” adding that it is important that the school community “feel safe, supported, and inspired.” Other board members repeated the mantra that the founders’ names made children feel “marginalized or uncomfortable.”

The board made the change in open defiance of its own survey showing that 56% of the school community, and more than two-thirds of those who expressed a definite opinion, wanted to keep the names. It also defies fiscal responsibility, with the name changes estimated to cost more than $110,000 to implement.

This pathetic, politically correct pronouncement comes from the same school board that has not figured out how to hold in-person classes since March, despite mountains of evidence that elementary and secondary schools are not primary locations for spreading the coronavirus. Even left-wing San Francisco was wise enough to reject such name changes amid the current pandemic, but not this Virginia board.

Rather than waste its time on virtue-signaling against dead white males, perhaps the board should worry more about better educating its students. One crucial part of education involves preparing children to understand and apply context. Another is to develop character, part of which comes from instilling the ability to overcome “uncomfortable” feelings while transcending a permanent sense of victimhood.

In adjudging historical figures, it is usually unwise to apply modern standards (and fads) to people who lived in remarkably different circumstances. The measure ought to be how far someone advanced human knowledge, beauty, freedom, or other good from the starting point where he or she found it — not whether someone falls short of our ideals of perfection today….

[The full editorial is at this link.]


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