At least 109 schools named after Confederate figures, study says


study from the Southern Poverty Law Center says that at least 109 public schools in the United States are named after prominent figures in the Confederacy and many have large African-American student bodies.

>> Read more trending news

As part of the 2016 study on the symbols of the Confederacy, the  advocacy organization found that 52 schools were named after Gen. Robert E. Lee, which is nearly half of the schools where data was pulled from. Most of these schools are in Southern states, but a few are in the Midwest and western regions of the country.

One of the oldest schools in Jacksonville, Florida, is Robert E. Lee High School. In Tampa, Florida, three hours away, is Robert E. Lee Elementary School.

Other schools are named after Stonewall Jackson, Jefferson Davis, P.G.T. Beauregard, Nathan Bedford Forrest and J.E.B. Stuart. Fifteen are named after Jackson, 13 after Davis, seven each after Beauregard and Forrest and five named after Stuart.

In California and Washington state, three schools are named after Lee: Robert E. Lee Elementary in East Wenatchee, Washington; Robert E. Lee Elementary School in Long Beach, California, and an elementary school of the same name in San Diego, California.

In 2016, the San Diego elementary school was renamed Pacific View Leadership Elementary School, according to The San Diego Union-Tribune. That same year, The Grunion reported that Lee Elementary in Long Beach, one of the oldest elementary schools in the city, would be renamed Olivia Herrera Elementary School. Herrera was an activist who worked with Cesar Chavez, according to Long Beach Post.

Despite name changes of numerous schools named after Lee across the country, Lee Elementary in East Wenatchee has not moved toward renaming the school. In 2015, in the wake of the Charleston massacre, Eastmont Superintendent Garn Christensen said most Wenatchee citizens wanted to keep the name.

According to the SPLC, 27 of the 109 schools have majority African-American student populations. Ten have an African-American population of over 90 percent. 

In one case, The Washington Post reported in 2013 that Duval County Public Schools in Florida would change the name of Nathan B. Forrest High School in Jacksonville, Florida, following a 161,000 signature petition. Named after the Confederate general and the first “grand wizard” of the Ku Klux Klan, the school was reported as having an African-American student body of more than 50 percent.

Notably, in 2016, Houston Independent School District voted to rename Robert E. Lee High School Margaret Long Wisdom High School, after a lifelong Houston resident and educator. The school has a large Latino population, according to The Associated Press

Despite the renaming of some schools, others have kept monikers bearing the names of Confederate figures, like Robert E. Lee High School in San Antonio, Texas, J.E.B. Stuart Middle School in Jacksonville, Florida, and Jefferson Davis High School in Montgomery, Alabama. It’s not clear for each school if the decision to keep some of the names is because of cultural or historical ties or budgetary reasons.

Relying on federal, state and private resources, SPLC said that the data was verified by at least one other source, with preference given to governmental sources over private ones. 

According to the SPLC, “at least 39 of these schools were built or dedicated from 1950 to 1970, broadly encompassing the era of the modern civil rights movement.”


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Nation & World

Sen. Jeff Flake takes to Senate floor to condemn Pres. Trump’s language, comparing it to Stalin’s
Sen. Jeff Flake takes to Senate floor to condemn Pres. Trump’s language, comparing it to Stalin’s

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) used the floor of the U.S. Senate to fire directly back at President Donald Trump, comparing the commander-in-chief’s words to those of Soviet leader Joseph Stalin. Flake stated that Trump has used statements also used by Stalin against his enemies. >> Read more trending news  CBS News reported that Flake, in...
Steve Bannon strikes deal in Mueller probe: reports
Steve Bannon strikes deal in Mueller probe: reports

Steve Bannon has struck a deal to be interviewed by a special prosecutor in the Robert Mueller investigation, according to reports.
Florida man brutally murders ex-wife after fight about infidelity, sheriff says
Florida man brutally murders ex-wife after fight about infidelity, sheriff says

A 46-year-old Florida man is being charged with second-degree murder after he brutally beat and stomped his ex-wife to death, a sheriff said. Michael Cummings and his ex-wife, Faith L. Cummings, 44, began arguing over infidelity on Thursday in the garage of their Palm Coast home, Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly said. The fight escalated with Faith...
Britain’s ‘Canterbury cannibal’ now living in U.S.
Britain’s ‘Canterbury cannibal’ now living in U.S.

A man who in 2014 was convicted in England of trying to eat a teenage girl has moved to the United States, and his new neighbors are not happy about his presence. Dale Bolinger, 62, has registered as a sex offender in Blair, Nebraska, according to the state’s sex offender registry. Washington County Sheriff Mike Robinson confirmed Monday...
Driver backs up Cadillac Escalade into Florida lake
Driver backs up Cadillac Escalade into Florida lake

A driver sank a Cadillac Escalade Tuesday while backing up his boat into Lake Weir, the Marion County Sheriff's Office said. The man, whose identity wasn't released, was reversing his SUV on a boat ramp at the Carney Island Recreation and Conservation Area when he was unable to put the vehicle back in park, deputies said. >> Read more trending...
More Stories