A Virginia school district voted to rename three schools named after Confederate leaders at a Wednesday school board meeting.
The Peterson School Board voted unanimously to replace Robert E. Lee with “Lakemont,” A.P. Hill with “Cool Spring,” and J.E.B. Stuart with “Pleasants Lane,” reported NBC12.
“When we say we want to remember someone, just be reminded we can do that in other ways…like creating a bust or a statue and putting it somewhere where everyone can see it,” said Steven Pierce, a member of the school board, according to NBC12.
High school student Jason Brown also seemed to think the Confederatre names were unnecessary.
“We can look back at the images, the stories of people hung up on trees, KKK rallies, the burning down of buildings and lynchings and so on and so forth, and I think that connotation and rhetoric carries itself with everything that happened in the South,” said the student.
Brown drew an analogy, stating that if he were Jewish, he would not support an elementary school named after Adolf Hitler.
The Sons of Confederate Veterans, meanwhile, emphasized that preserving the schools’ names could start conversations including the good traits of Confederate leaders.
“If you keep the names the way they are, you can tell the kids why the schools are named after these people,” said Travis Toombs, a member of the group. “You can tell them the many great traits of General Lee and Hill and Stuart. It was General Lee and Hill that were trying to stop the bombs from coming in to Petersburg.”
Toombs mentioned that needed to “get their priorities straight.”
Petersbug County made its decision shortly after amusement park Kings Dominion decided to rename its “Rebel Yell” roller coaster. (RELATED: Kings Dominion Changes Roller Coaster’s Name, Probably Because It’s Linked To The Confederacy)
Seventy percent of respondents to an online poll conducted by the district supported changing the schools’ names, according to a school district document obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation. The district projects the cost of the name changes to be $18,135, an amount already eclipsed by donations to the cause.
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