JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The community meetings are over, but stakeholders are not finished making their voices heard on the possibility of changing the name of Robert E. Lee High School in Jacksonville.
Around five demonstrators were at the entrance to the school’s campus before 7 a.m. Tuesday. Several held a sign, approximately 30 feet long, that read, “Change The Names.”
Community activist and Northside Coalition Founder Ben Frazier was also near the campus of the school with a loudspeaker leading chants in support of changing the names.
Monday night a school advisory committee proposed four alternative names: Avondale High School, Legacy High School, Riverside High School, or School #33. An option to keep the name as is, Robert E. Lee High School, will also be under consideration for voters.
There is strong support on each side of the issue. People who support keeping the school’s name as Robert E. Lee High School have voiced several reasons for their opposition to the change, including a desire to preserve history. Some also point to the money it would cost.
“We could have a top-of-the-line football field if we could have the money they’re spending to rename it,” Norman Abraham said to News4Jax.
Lee High is one of nine schools the district is considering for name changes. Six of the schools under consideration for renaming honor Confederate Civil War leaders and the other three schools are named after leaders who perpetrated violence against Native Americans.
Ribault High School is one of those schools. On Monday night, it too had a committee decide on a list of names, which include Ribault High, Northside High School and Northwest High School.