Robert E. Lee name signs vandalized and stolen

Published: Jul. 19, 2018 at 1:30 AM EDT
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When Staunton resident Louis March woke up last week, the first thing he saw was an empty front yard. His big "Save the Name" sign had been stolen.

"We have diversity and that sign's part of the diversity. So you know, I'm sad to see it, no point in getting mad, doesn't do any good," said March.

He's not alone. In recent weeks, Staunton Police said they have received a few reports of damaged or stolen signs, but March believes it's more.

"I heard from other people that 30 or 40 had been torn down. So somebody went through, maybe a group and did a number on the signs," March said.

On the other side of the city, one couple, Sondra and Raymond, said they had their sign damaged while on vacation.

"The sign was torn apart. The base was broken, and the sign itself was thrown in the street," said Sondra. "The base was in two pieces. My husband was able to put it back together and we put it back up."

As we

, some who want the school's name to change had their signs vandalized too.

Their signs were spray painted with X's.

"Get over it. Grow up people, folks who are damaging these signs," said Barbara Lee. "It has to be somebody with nothing else to do."

Police said they don't have enough information on the reports to investigate who might be doing this, but said they're keeping an extra eye out.

"We're all Americans and we should treat and respect each other as Americans. No more, no less," said Raymond.

Many in the community have been making their opinions heard about the possibility of renaming R.E. Lee High School at two listening meetings that took place


There have been several pushes over recent years to change the name of Staunton's only public high school. None have succeeded in the past, but efforts began again following the deadly violence of the "Unite the Right" rally centered around a Robert E. Lee statue in Charlottesville last year.

A school board vote