The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) urged two Virginia high schools to change their names because they memorialize Confederate figures.
The Hampton, Va., branch of the NAACP hosted a rally Sunday demanding Jefferson Davis High School and the Campus at Lee change their names to people who have contributed positively to society, reports the Associated Press.
The NAACP branch president pointed to a policy in the Hampton School District handbook that states schools should be named after positive historical figures.
“Elementary and middle schools will be named in honor of persons who have rendered outstanding service to mankind in their community state and or country. That’s in black and white and certainly Jefferson Davis and Robert E Lee did not fit his criteria,” Hampton NAACP President Gaylene Kanoyton told WAVY.
Some rally participants suggested the school get renamed after black figures like former NASA physicist Katherine Johnson or Dr. Mary T. Christian, the black woman elected to the Virginia state House of Representatives.
“No minority should have to attend a school named after someone who fought to keep them enslaved,” one sign held by participant Tiffany West read.
Misty Collins attended the rally and held up a sign that disagreed with the NAACP’s call to remove the Confederate names. Collins stood towards the back of the rally with a sigh reading “Changing the name doesn’t change history.”
Collins said she did’t see why the names should be changed, not only because it wouldn’t fix the history of the Confederacy, but also because it would cost the taxpayers money.
“Where does it end? What’s next?” Collins asked.
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