School board in Virginia changes school’s name from Robert E. Lee to John Lewis

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FILE – Fairfax County Public Schools was considering renaming Robert E. Lee High School before Governor Ralph Northam closed schools for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year.

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.

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. Lewis, a civil rights icon, died last week.

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