RICHMOND, Va. – A Virginia school division has decided to remove a prominent segregationist's name from a school building.
The Henrico County school board voted 5-0 Thursday to strip Harry F. Byrd's name from a suburban Richmond middle school following a petition drive and overwhelming public condemnation of the school's name.
Byrd was a governor, U.S. senator and powerful political force in 20th century Virginia. He also attempted to keep the state's public schools separated by race after U.S. Supreme Court decision struck down racially segregated schools.
Some African-Americans who went to segregated, all-black schools because of Byrd's so-called Massive Resistance movement were among those who pushed for the name change.
But some say Byrd was a positive force for Virginia in many other ways, and that removing his name is erasing history.