SCLC encourages changing Confederate name of Horace Epes Elementary School in Newport News

Newport News

(Photo courtesy: NNPS)

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — The Southern Christian Leadership Conference is calling for Newport News Public Schools to change the name of an elementary school honoring a Confederate soldier to a name honoring two civil rights leaders.

The SCLC called Friday for NNPS to change the name of Horace Epes Elementary.

According to the SCLC, Horace Hardaway Epes was a Confederate soldier who fought with VMI Corps of Cadets in Richmond trenches until it disbanded on Apr. 2, 1865.

The SCLC said they would like to see the school renamed after Dr. Macellus L. Harris, Jr. and Joni Ivey, two local civil rights leaders, both of whom are from Newport News.

“We are reminded of the many who opposed our efforts in 2016 for the removal of the names of Confederate President Jefferson Davis and Confederate General Robert E. Lee from the public school buildings in the City of Hampton,” the SCLC wrote in an email Friday.

The SCLC has also called on Hampton City Schools to change the Confederate name of John B. Cary Elementary school.

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