Attempt to overturn $2.5 million Silent Sam settlement denied, judge decides

Orange County News

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) — A judge made the decision Friday to deny the motion to intervene in a $2.5 million settlement between the University of North Carolina and the Sons of Confederate Veterans in reference to Silent Sam.

The motion was filed by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law in an effort stop the $2.5 million settlement between UNC and the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

The judge’s decision came as he said there was a lack of standing in the case by the plaintiffs.

The attorneys for the civil rights group argued that the Silent Sam statue and this settlement have caused a hostile learning environment for these students and this settlement is a slap in the face. They argued that the Silent Sam monument is a symbol of hatred and ignorance.

But UNC’s attorneys questioned how this settlement has caused injury. They argued that this settlement is what allowed the statue to come down and its what keeps it from going back up. Even though the plaintiffs talked about this settlement devaluing education and causing harm to emotional health, there were no concrete injuries that showed any actual loss.

CBS 17 spoke with some students who the civil rights group filed the motion for. They argued that they do have standing in this case because they attend school at the institution that handed $2.5 million over to a white supremacist group.

UNC issued the following statement:

“We agree with the court’s ruling today that the individuals seeking to intervene in the case and set aside the settlement agreement lacked standing to do so. The UNC System remains committed to protecting public safety and to ensuring that the monument does not return to the UNC-Chapel Hill campus. We stand ready to provide additional information as requested by the court.”

UNC System General Counsel Thomas Shanahan

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