Letter To School Board

Email the Rockingham County School Board to demand that the name Turner Ashby be removed from this public high school.
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Email Text

To: oscheikl@rockingham.k12.va.us, jlohr@rockingham.k12.va.us, lfulk@rockingham.k12.va.us, rreed@rockingham.k12.va.us, cmcquilkin@rockingham.k12.va.us, dbreeden@rockingham.k12.va.us


Message: (Don't forget to replace the [x]'s with your information!)

Dear Rockingham County School Board,

My name is [YOUR NAME] and I am [RELATIONSHIP TO TAHS HERE]. I am emailing today to ask for your renewed commitment to hold an informed conversation around the name of Turner Ashby High School as soon as possible, and to emphasize that I strongly support changing the name.

On July 30th 2020, the Daily News Record published a story entitled “Conversation On Turner Ashby Name Months Away” that quoted Dr. Scheikl as saying that the conversation “will take place, I promise.” While I recognize that the pandemic has caused unprecedented logistical challenges for our school district, I am disappointed that RCPS has not yet taken further action on this issue. The protracted timeline without a clear plan for discussion is particularly frustrating because neighboring Shenandoah County took prompt steps to rename two schools in its district this summer, in the midst of the pandemic. One of these schools bears the name of Turner Ashby (Ashby Lee Elementary School).

It is inappropriate to memorialize Turner Ashby through such an important institution as our public high school. Not only is there documented history of Turner Ashby’s support for the subjugation of Black people, but the school was named during Virginia’s well-documented period of massive resistance to public school desegregation. Using his name for our school both honors this legacy of oppression and continues it: sociological research has found that symbols associated with racism are detrimental to the academic development of Black students.

Having this conversation and removing Turner Ashby’s name from our high school is an important step toward affirming equal opportunity for all students.

Thank you for your time.