Group Trying to Change R.E. Lee High School's Name

Published: Nov. 9, 2015 at 4:25 PM EST
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UPDATE: 10:40 p.m. 11/9/15

The Staunton School Board heard from two groups Monday night. One was lead by Robert E. Lee alum, Betty Jordan. She said the school's name should stay the way it is. "It's a name to me, it doesn't have to evoke any issues from out of the past," she explained.

Walter Brown, with the Booker T. Washington Alumni Association, said while Lee's acts after the Civil War were laudable,"he represented the enslavement of people of color."

If and when a new high school is built, he said changing the name to "Staunton High School" would help bring the community together.

"It gets rid of the stigma of segregation or separation, it's all becomes one," said Brown.

Betty Jordan is proud of the school's history. "It's a history of long standing good academics, sports, everything," said Jordan.

She also says the cost to the tax payer for re-branding the new name would be too high.

"A lot of citizens are very concerned. They know their taxes are going to go up for a school, but they don't want it to go up even further because of a name change," said Jordan.

Brown said with a new school, and a new name, "you start with a clean slate, you build a new school, everyone is equal."

That new school isn't expected until at least 2021.


An advocacy group is trying to change the name of Staunton's Robert E. Lee High School.

The group is expected to give a presentation at the Staunton School Board meeting Monday night. They want to change the school's name to "Staunton High School."

Monday's meeting and presentation is an opportunity for people in the community to voice their opinion.

A group named "Residents for Staunton High School" on Change.org says it will be presenting its views to the school board Monday night. We have a reporter following this story, and we'll post an update here as soon as we have new information.