JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — After five community meetings featuring passionate debates on whether to rename Robert E. Lee High School, the Lee H.S. School Advisory Council (SAC) finalized five naming options to appear on the renaming ballot.
Duval County Public Schools (DCPS) says the current names of the nine schools under renaming consideration must also appear on each school’s ballot.
Thus, ‘Robert E. Lee High School’ will also be on the ballot.
The five names to appear on the ballot for Lee High School:
- Riverside High School
- Avondale High School
- School #33
- Legacy High School
- Robert E. Lee High School
While the ballot’s been finalized, the debate on whether the school should change its name continues.
“Why should black students have to attend a school named after a man who said slavery was ordained by God?” said Northside Coalition leader, Ben Frazier.
“Everybody’s offended by something. So, where is the line drawn?” said Lee alumna, Quinna Neumann.
DCPS says it would cost approximately $287,000 to rename secondary schools, like Lee.
Cost has become a major concern amongst those is favor of keeping the name.
“Are we going to send diplomas out to everyone from 1927 with a new name on it? You know, what is the cost factor in all of this?” said Neumann.
Others say cost isn’t the main issue at hand, but the Confederacy’s legacy of slavery is. Of the nine schools under renaming consideration, six are named after Confederate leaders.
“Now you want to talk about cost? When you got 400 years of free labor?” said Frazier. “… Change it! You could change it to Woody Woodpecker! But take his name from off of it!”
Community Balloting dates for Lee High School:
- April 26th - April 30th, 2021 from 10:00 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
- May 3rd - May7th, 2021 from 10:00 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Who can cast a ballot?
- Parents of the PTA
- Community members living in the school zone
- SAC (Will cast ballots separately on May 10 at 6 p.m. in the media center)
Emotions run high in final Robert E. Lee High School renaming meeting | Community attends 1st set of discussions to rename 9 DCPS schools | Renaming options set for Jacksonville school named after Confederate General | Group pushes back on Duval County Public School name change proposal | Duval County School Board votes unanimously to request to initiate renaming schools with Confederate ties
Cox Media Group