Three schools originally named after Confederate generals in Petersburg, Virginia were given new signs on Tuesday because the city voted to change the schools’ titles, according to NBC 12.
Made possible from over $20,000 of donations, the signs were swapped at the following elementary schools: A.P. Hill, Robert E. Lee and J.E.B. Stuart — now titled Cool Spring, Lakemont and Pleasants Lane, respectively. The estimated tab was $18,000.
Petersburg’s school board voted unanimously in February for the changes, and 70 percent of locals responded positively in a survey, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports.
Critics said the school should focus more on student performance, which won’t be improved by the name changes.
Kenneth Pritchett, chairman of the school board, said that while Petersburg residents have previously expressed support for swapping the names, the push intensified after the fatal Charlottesville rally in August of 2017, according to the RTD. (RELATED: Virginia School Trashes Confederate General Name For Barack Obama)
“School leaders have said ‘to achieve our mission of developing 21st-century citizens able to effectively collaborate, communicate and innovate’ the Confederate names had to be changed,” CBS 6 reports.