/Group sues to remove plaque at Ole Miss Confederate statue

Group sues to remove plaque at Ole Miss Confederate statue

The suit, which was filed first in September 2014, was transferred to the county’s chancery and placed on the circuit court docket. The case was inactive until this week. The petition for injunction, which is a request to a judge to issue an order compiling a party into doing or abstaining from certain acts, does not specify the remedy sought by the group. According to court documents, the university’s counsel interpreted the petition as a request for the removal of the plaque. This summer, the petition was amended to include language regarding the plaque. It is a reference to the idea that the monument’s historic meaning does not accurately reflect the original intent of the plaque. After receiving feedback from many groups, the university originally placed a plaque. It then removed it and rewrote the words. This week, the revised plaque was placed. The petition states that the SCV requested that the Honorable Court exercise its broad equity powers to… injunct the University of Mississippi. This injunction would prohibit the University of Mississippi’s from placing or altering any type of plaque or placard that could in any way alter, alter, or disturb the Confederate Monument’s significance and meaning. After the lawsuit was filed in 2014 the lead attorney of the organization fell ill and the suit remained dormant. After the plaintiff failed to take any action, the case was dismissed in May. However, a petition was filed for reinstatement on August 1. In the amended complaint filed in fall, the plaintiff also requests that “Confederate Drive’ be protected. Officials at the university changed the road’s name to Chapel Lane in 2014. According to the complaint, there is a state law that states no “monuments or memorials (plaques),” which honor many wars, such as the “War Between the States”. The statute is Miss. Code Ann. SS 55-15-881 (2016). This plaque was created as a result the university’s 2014 diversity plan. Confederate symbols would be placed on campus and contextualized with historical markers. After the initial draft of the text did not mention slavery, or that the outcome to the war resulted in the abolishment of slavery in the United States, the wording of the plaque caused controversy for several weeks. The plaque’s original language was changed to reflect an accurate historical portrayal after protests by student and faculty groups, including the NAACP. Now the text reads: In May, the university requested that the judge dismiss the case. Judge Robert Whitwell refused to grant that request and instead moved the case to circuit court. Cal Mayo, Oxford attorney, is currently preparing a reply to the amended petition. Lawyers for the Sons of Confederate Veterans didn’t return Friday’s messages. To support this important work, you can make a regular donation to the Sons of Confederate Veterans today. Our reporters give a human face to policy’s impact on everyday Mississippians by listening more closely and understanding their communities. To ensure that our work is aligned with the priorities and needs of Mississippians, we are listening to you. Click the button below to let us know what you think. Republish this Story You can freely republish our articles online or in print under a Creative Commons licence. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Mississippi Today, Adam Ganucheau
October 14, 2016, Adam Ganucheau is Mississippi Today’s editor in chief. He oversees the newsroom with the editorial staff to achieve our mission of producing journalism that is both high-quality and public-interest. Since February 2016, Adam Ganucheau has been covering politics and state government at Mississippi Today. A native of Hazlehurst, Adam has worked as a staff reporter for AL.com, The Birmingham News and The Clarion-Ledger and his work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post and Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Adam received his bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Mississippi.