Fairfax County School Board changes school’s name from Robert E. Lee to John Lewis

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WASHINGTON, DC – FEBRUARY 15: U.S. Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) (R) is presented with the 2010 Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama during an East Room event at the White House February 15, 2011 in Washington, DC. Obama presented the medal, the highest honor awarded to civilians, to twelve pioneers in sports, labor, politics and arts. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

SPRINGFIELD, Va. (AP) — Virginia’s largest school system is removing the name of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from one of its high schools in favor of the late U.S. Rep. John Lewis.

The Fairfax County School Board approved the change during a meeting Thursday. A news release posted on the school district’s website says the new name will be effective for the 2020-21 school year.

The board had already voted unanimously last month to remove Lee’s name. It adopted John R. Lewis as the new name Thursday one day after numerous people spoke in favor of the change at a public hearing.

Other names under consideration included Barack Obama, Cesar Chavez, Mildred Loving, Central Springfield and Legacy.

The change comes nearly three years after the school system removed the name of Confederate Gen. J.E.B. Stuart from another high school, renaming it Justice High.

School boards throughout the Virginia and across the South have been removing Confederate names from schools in the wake of protests over racial injustice.

Lewis, a civil rights icon who represented a metro Atlanta district in Congress, died last week. His name was under consideration even before his death.


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