Group wants name changed at Robert E. Lee High School

Cars lined up.
Cars lined up. (WJXT.)

Some people in Duval County want the name of Robert E. Lee High School to change, calling it oppressive because the school is named after a confederate general in the Civil War. Others say the name is about of history and should not change.

On Sunday, a local group said they disagree and the school name should change. They showed their support by revving their engines.

This group also wants attention for what they call activism. They are pushing for the names of confederate soldiers who supported slavey to be removed as the names of local high schools.

It’s the same school district where a local teacher, Amy Donofrio, was removed from teaching in Duval Schools after she refused to take a Black Lives Matter flag down from the archway of her classroom.

“It is not political. It’s not about activism, said Renita Turner, who is the CEO and president of Jewels of the Future Inc.

Turner said it;s also about showing support for more respect and compassion for African Americans.

“Black Lives Matter has always been a slogan, not a political movement,” said Turner.

Turner said in addition to the names being changed, she wants a local teacher that supported Black Lives Matter inside the school off of suspension.

“We need EVAC back, we need Miss Donofrio back in our classrooms. She’s one of the most effective teachers I have ever met in my entire life,” said Turner.

Donofrio is the same teacher that created EVAC, a program that helps at risk youth improve their lives and their future.

The small group of cars sit in solidarity and believe they can make a difference on three very serious issues: getting EVAC back in schools, getting Confederate general’s names removed from schools and getting Donofrio back in the classroom to help more students.

There will be two timeframes for the public to vote for the change of Robert E Lee High School. The first voting session will begin this week. It is unclear when the hearing will happen for Donofrio, who is currently removed from teaching in DCPS.

DCPS has said in previous interviews that flags such as BLM would not be allowed in the classroom and it would be the same for other flags.


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