School Board Responds to NAACP Lawsuit

School Board Responds to NAACP Lawsuit
Posted on 11/13/2019
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The Hanover County School Board will hold a special closed session meeting on November 22, 2019, at 2:00 p.m. to discuss a possible resolution to the pending lawsuit filed by the Hanover County unit of the NAACP.

The lawsuit, originally filed on August 16, 2019, against Hanover County and the school board, seeks to change the names and mascots of Lee-Davis High School and Stonewall Jackson Middle School. The lawsuit against Hanover County has been dismissed. The school board is now the sole defendant in this case.

The school board is committed to being transparent and welcomes feedback from the Hanover community. Hanover County residents may contact their school board member before November 22 to provide input. Contact information for school board members is available on the school division’s School Board page.

Currently, the school board is carefully and thoughtfully evaluating a variety of factors in its consideration of a possible resolution of the lawsuit. These include the following:

  • The school board is committed to providing the best possible learning environment for all Hanover County students and makes every decision with the best interest of students in mind. 
  • The school board is mindful of and responsive to various community perspectives.
  • If the school board decides to resolve the matter, it will cost an estimated $495,000 to change the names and mascots at Lee-Davis and Stonewall Jackson.
  • If the school board decides to continue the litigation, the school board will incur hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees and costs defending the lawsuit. Litigation with appeals would likely last a minimum of two years. 
  • If the NAACP prevails in the lawsuit, the school board could be responsible for the NAACP’s legal fees, which are expected to be several million dollars.
  • Regardless of whether the lawsuit is resolved, we will eventually replace Lee-Davis and Stonewall Jackson as part of the school board’s long-term facilities planning, and we will rename them pursuant to existing school board policy.
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