It’s quite ironic that an elementary school with a 95 percent black student population was named after a Confederate general. The kids decided their Richmond, Virginia school needed a new and better name. This was how they handled it.
Earlier in the year, the school board voted to rename the school 8-1. The students, their parents, the staff, and members of the community all entered their suggestions for the name change.
There were seven finalist in the effort to rename the J.E.B. Stuart Elementary School building. Many of the suggestions reflected important African-American Civil Rights leaders. Those included Henry Marsh, Oliver Hill, and Barbara Johns.
The school board limited the winners to seven finalist names. Then, the final three were: Wishtree, Northside, and Barack Obama, according to CBS affiliate WTRV.
In a majority 6-1 vote, the winner’s name was the Barack Obama Elementary School. The Richmond CBS affiliate broke the exciting news:
‘#BREAKING #RPSBoard votes to rename JEB Stuart Elementary as @BarackObama Elementary School – students helped choose out of 7 finalists. Vote was not unanimous 6-1 @CBS6.‘
Richmond was the capital of the Confederacy during America’s Civil War. Yet, the J.E.B. Stuart Elementary was the only school in the city to be named after a Confederate general.
This was not the first school to be named after our 44th president of these United States. It was the first to change its name from a Confederate general to the only African-American president. Obama was elected in 2008 and served two terms.
Petersburg, Virginia voted to rename three of its Confederate-related schools. A.P. Hill will rename itself to Cool Spring Elementary and the Robert E. Lee School will rename itself Lakemont Elementary. The names will become effective July 1, 2018.
Featured Image via Getty Images/Saul Loeb.