July 3, 2020

Bond set for teacher accused of vandalizing Ole Miss Confederate monument

Bond has been set for the Mississippi teacher accused of vandalizing the Confederate monument on the University of Mississippi campus.

Zachary Borenstein, 30, was charged with a felony charge of injuring, destroying or defacing certain cemetery property, public buildings, schools or churches.

The words “spiritual genocide” were spray-painted in black on each side of the statue, accompanied by red handprints. Borenstein was arrested on the scene by an officer with the University Police Department.

Borenstein was arraigned on Monday by a Lafayette County Justice Court judge. His bond was set at $5,000.

Borenstein is a former student of the University, having recently graduated with a master of arts degree. He has also been identified as a geometry teacher at Simmons Junior-Senior High School in the Hollandale School District.

Following Borenstein’s arrest, a GoFundMe was set up by Arielle Hudson to help cover his bail money.

Hudson, the University’s first African-American female Rhodes Scholar, was one of the main leaders of the movement to relocate the statue from its current position on the Circle.

As of Monday afternoon, the GoFundMe had raised more than the $20,000 goal. Excess funds raised will go to the Mississippi Bail Fund Collective, according to a social media post from Hudson.

More than 700 people have donated to the GoFundMe so far.