Amelia Academy

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Coordinates: 37°19′51″N 77°59′4″W / 37.33083°N 77.98444°W / 37.33083; -77.98444

Amelia Academy
Location
8741 N Five Forks Rd, Amelia Courthouse
Information
Type Private
Established 1964[1]
Principal Rodney Taylor
Grades K-12
Enrollment 188
Campus Suburban
Color(s) maroon and navy blue
Athletics conference VISAA, VCC
Mascot Patriots
Website

Amelia Academy is an independent co-educational college preparatory school in Amelia, Virginia. It was founded in 1964 as a segregation academy. The campus is located within the rural Piedmont region of central Virginia.

History[edit]

Amelia Academy was founded in 1964 as a segregation academy during Virginia's policy of massive resistance to involuntary integration of public schools.[2] At this time most of the white students in Amelia County transferred to the new Amelia Academy.[3]

Like many such schools, Amelia Academy had its tax-exempt status suspended by the Internal Revenue Service in the early 1970s due to its racially discriminatory admission policies.[4]

Amelia Academy regained its tax exempt status in 1985.[5] However, in February 1986 the Internal Revenue Service announced that it was opening an investigation to determine whether the Amelia Academy and two other Virginia private schools had in fact abandoned racial discrimination in admissions.[6] In April 1986 the IRS announced that both the Amelia Academy and the Isle of Wight Academy would have their tax exemptions revoked.[5]

As of 1988, no Black student had ever attended the school. In May of that year, headmistress Dallas De K. Lewis told the Richmond Times-Dispatch that "We have an open-door policy. We'd be delighted if we could get some other races."[2]

Amelia Academy was briefly in the news during the 1992 Virginia gubernatorial campaign. Republican candidates George Allen and Michael Farris attended a picnic at the school. Both men later denied knowing that the event was a fundraiser for the school, that the school had been founded as a segregation academy, and that the student body at the time was all white.[7] At the time, headmistress Lewis told the Washington Post that the Academy "has always had an open-door policy,"[7] and that anyone who met admissions standards was welcome to attend. She also noted that the school had not yet regained its tax-exempt status from the IRS, and recalled that, although the Academy had had a Korean student during the IRS investigation, the investigator noted that "we may have met the letter of the law but because we had no blacks, we didn't meet the spirit of the law."[7] Peter Eliades, unsuccessful Virginia Democratic candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives, also attended the event. His campaign manager told the Times-Dispatch "I had absolutely no idea there was any connection...with a segregation academy. If there is a connection, we are appalled. We condemn any kind of discrimination."[8]

Athletics[edit]

Amelia Academy is a member of the Virginia Commonwealth Conference (VCC). Their teams are known as "The Patriots." Other member schools are Blessed Sacrament Huguenot, Brunswick Academy, Fuqua School, Isle of Wight Academy, Richmond Christian School, Southampton Academy, and Tidewater Academy. The boys’ basketball squad won the Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association (VISAA) State Championship, as well as the VCC regular season and conference tournament three times between 2011 and 2013. In 2013, the Amelia Academy Lady Patriots won the VISAA State Championship, the VCC regular season and tournament championships; in 2012, they were VISAA State runner-up, as well as VCC regular season and tournament champions.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "History". Amelia Academy. Retrieved November 25, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b Schermerhorn, William (May 18, 1988). "Common Ground - All the Walls Haven't Come Tumbling Down". Richmond Times-Dispatch. 
  3. ^ "Mannboro Postmaster Offers More Than Mail". Richmond Times-Dispatch. September 23, 1985. 
  4. ^ Prentice-Hall federal taxes. Prentice-Hall, Inc. 1974. Retrieved November 25, 2011. 
  5. ^ a b Gordon, Richard E. (April 16, 1986). "Prince Edward Academy Given Tax Exempt Status". Richmond Times-Dispatch. 
  6. ^ "Democrat Says IRS Probing Three Schools". Richmond Times-Dispatch. February 26, 1986. 
  7. ^ a b c Baker, Donald P. (July 22, 1993). "GOP Helps All-White VA School - Allen Says He Didn't Know Picnic's Purpose". Washington Post. 
  8. ^ Schapiro, Jeffrey E. (July 23, 1993). "Event to Aid White Academy Criticized - GOP and Democratic Hopefuls Attended". Richmond Times-Dispatch.  (ellipsis in original quote)