Washburn University removed Jefferson, Franklin statues

Statues of Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin have been removed from the Washburn University campus after protests against racial injustice elsewhere led to statues honoring slaveholders being vandalized, pulled down or moved, the school said Thursday.

The two bronze statues that had stood outside the university’s law school in Topeka for two decades were removed in July after Washburn President Jerry Farley discussed the concerns with the family of the donor, who has since died, school spokesman Patrick Early said.

Early said the decision was prompted in part by a disagreement over a Jefferson statue at the University of Missouri’s Columbia campus in June. Some Missouri students petitioned to have the statue removed but university officials decided to leave it in place.