Feedback on Proposal to Change the Name of Robert E. Lee High School

Community Input on Name Change

Disclaimer:  The comments below published here do not necessarily reflect the views of Fairfax County residents. Because these comments went to a general email address, FCPS has no way of determining if the respondents reside in Fairfax County.

Emailed Comments 

Please rename the school: "Springfield High School."

In regards to changing the name of Lee High School, we support the change to Central Springfield.  We think it’s important for the name to be representative of the area in which the school is located.  The community and alumni are already very familiar with the current Central Springfield Little League and Springfield Youth Club, which are in the boundaries of the current Lee High School surrounding area.  Thousands of current and former Lee High School students have participated in these youth clubs over the years and already relate to the name Central Springfield.  They can still feel connected to name Central Springfield since it was and continues to be part of their lives and community. We also prefer the name Central Springfield because it relates to a geographic area like many of the Fairfax County School currently do such as Hayfield (the former hay field of Mount Vernon Estate), West Springfield, South County, Mount Vernon, Annandale,  McLean, Centerville, Gunston, Island Creek, and many more.  We do not support renaming the school after a person as it is a very politically charged subject and could continue to be one in the future.  Please consider renaming Lee High School and make it a name associated with the area it represents, one would be inclusive for all and one that will feel like it’s always been part of the community, which is Central Springfield.

As a 1979 graduate of Lee and a professional historian, I applaud the decision to rename the school. I suggest renaming it after the late Rep. John Lewis. Lewis spent considerable blood and decades to end the Second Civil War of Jim Crow, segregation, and white supremacy. Quite the counter to Lee's four-year fight for exactly the opposite that also fueled another hundred years of Lost Cause mythology. Failing that, second and third choices would be Legacy (as with Lewis, alliteration would preserve my Lancer letter jacket's viability!) and Springfield (no one I know says "Central Springfield").

I am a rising senior at Lee High School. I tried to sign up to speak at the public hearing today, but I was too late, but I still want my opinion and voice to be heard on what I think the new name should be. I am very strongly pushing for the name of Legacy for several reasons. It is perfect to rename the school because it represents the legacy that the students have left and will be leaving behind once we graduate. It is about leaving your mark in the school community and leaving it better than how you found it. It also stands for a new beginning, the chance to turn things around at the school such as the attitude and negative views that surround it. Lee is not viewed in a good light throughout the students of Fairfax County, and I believe renaming it Legacy will be the start of a brand new chapter moving forward. Not to mention "Legacy" also has a great ring to it. That is the name that I want to shout when cheering on our sports teams, and the name I want to say when someone asks what school I go to. As an SGA officer and a two varsity sport athlete, this directly affects me as I am representing the school and the student body as a whole. This brings me to my additional point which is that I am strongly against renaming the school after any specific individual, no matter their successes (i.e John Lewis). I say this because this risks us having to go through this same process years down the road if a controversy involving the person may arise. I also do not want to be proud of the school I go to based off of a person, but rather the cheering for the Legacy that we the students are creating. With all due respect, the men and women speaking today at the public hearing are not able to relate to this because they are not current students that go to the school everyday, they do not have to identify with this school, and are not directly impacted by this decision. If the name is not able to be changed to Legacy, the only other option I support would be Springfield High School. This is the geographic area that we all live in which is what brings us together, and it would be very fitting and impactful to rename the school based off of that. I am very passionate about this issue and I was very upset that I was not able to speak today at the public hearing. I am very anxious awaiting what the final verdict will end up being tomorrow, and I really hope you will take my email into consideration.

I would like to exercise my right to vote for the change of Robert E. Lee High School's name to Civil Rights Rep. John Lewis (1940-2020). I believe it is certainly appropriate, I would also like to ask for a revision of Fairfax County's curriculum to include accurate occurrences within our country's history and stop fabricating the truths on top of a bunch of lies, our youth deserve better!

I strongly suggest staying away from renaming Lee High School after any person. Instead, I urge you to choose Central Springfield High School. The demographics for Lee High School (see below) indicate many ethnicities attending Lee – all of whom deserve to be represented in the name of the school. Central Springfield High School is a good, neutral choice – not favoring one ethnic group over another.

I was a participant today at the meeting for the rename of Lee HS, and wanted to emphasize that my suggestion of L. Douglas Wilder is one that should be deeply considered along with John Lewis for the renaming of Lee HS at tomorrow’s vote.

I noticed the majority of people at the public hearing yesterday had no actual ties to the Lee community. Many identified themselves as being from NAACP. Please keep this in mind when deciding name. Lee is only 9% African American. “Springfield” High was a good suggestion from actual community members. Please give a name that reflects the whole Lee community.

My family has had 4 generations attending FCPS schools; beginning in 1905 with my grandmother entering the 1st grade.  My mother, siblings, younger nephews and I are graduates of the FCPS system. While I agree with the legacy of John R. Lewis, I believe FCPS should steer clear of renaming this school after a specific person.  I think it is more important to give the school back to the community and to those walking through its doors. I am supportive of the name “Legacy”; but this only works when narrow minds won’t go to the past but see it as a time of new growth and culture, placed in the hands of its diverse student population. Not being confident that this is likely, I support Springfield H.S.  The school was originally named for the larger community so taking it to the more intimate community it now serves is sensible.  This allows for the easy retention of the Lancer mascot and puts it in the tradition of recognizing community.

Lee to Lewis: This is the right time to change the name of this school from one of a traitor supporting slavery to one of a man whose spoke for equity and justice.  We need to lead the country -not just in test scores but- in indelible integrity! Do not fail to represent all American children!

West Springfield H.S. already has Springfield in its name so I don’t think it wise to rename Lee either Springfield H.S. or Central Springfield H.S.  Local residents do not even use the appellation of “Central Springfield” – thus, I do not understand why this title should be given any consideration. My suggestion for a geographic based name is Accotink High School.  Accotink Creek forms part of the school’s western boundary.  In addition, as a 50 square-mile watershed, it is a significant tributary to the Potomac – America’s National River.  A dam on the creek creates Lake Accotink.  The lake and surrounding Fairfax County Park have seen many enjoyable gatherings of Lee students over the years.  High School Named to Honor an Individual: Although I prefer a geographic name for my alma mater, I do have a suggestion for a person who is worthy of honor.  The person is Ona Judge (see 2 Attachments for her Biography).  She was born into slavery at George Washington’s plantation of Mt. Vernon in Fairfax County.  In 1796, she escaped from the household while George Washington was in Philadelphia serving as president.  Despite many efforts by the Washington family to secure her return, she managed to live the rest of her life as a free woman in New Hampshire.  Fairfax County does not have a high school named after a woman or an African American.  Creating Ona Judge High School in Springfield would rectify this oversight.   

I’m writing to you as a student in an FCPS school and I am asking you to consider a name change of Robert E. Lee High School. Obviously our history as a state is important, but we should be using our schools as a way to learn about the past and not idolize the people that history looks down upon for their actions. We all know the civil war was fought to protect state’s right to own slaves. Whatever reason Robert E. Lee had to join the south’s fight, he was supporting the enslavement of black people in our country. We should learn about him but we should not be naming schools after him.

The popularity of the name “Legacy” among some students is notable, but it is important to recognize that most people in Fairfax County, even teachers, have no awareness of the continuing legacy in our own community of the cause that Robert E. Lee defended. Most people have no idea the depth of the white supremacist legacy that still impacts our classrooms today: that not only did Fairfax County have segregated schools before 1954, but that Fairfax County had no high school at all for Black students until 1954. None. Our lone high school for Black students only opened in 1954, AFTER segregation was declared unconstitutional, and it stayed segregated for another 11 years, until 1965. Many Fairfax County schools were not desegregated for years after that.  I was born in 1971 and have a rising 2nd grader in FCPS today, so this legacy is not ancient history.  It is an inheritance that is the lived experience of the parents and grandparents of existing Fairfax County students, and until we do a better job of being actively anti-racist in our curriculum and ensuring that we as a community understand the very real legacies of this corrosive history of white supremacy in our own community, I don’t think we should choose this non-specic name primarily because it has positive connotations for some and is alliterative.  We need to be more intentionally anti-racist in our choice. Two weeks ago, I would have said that while I consider Representative John Lewis to be a great hero and worthy of emulation, but I generally would avoid naming a school for a living person.  Sadly, that objection no longer applies.  Renaming this school John Robert Lewis High School gives us an opportunity as a community to embrace the values that defined his life, his service to our country and to humankind.  The symbolism of this courageous move would resonate across the country as a sign of hope, renewal, and deliberate anti-racism. I agree with a number of other speakers that we must be proactively anti-racist in this renaming: intentionally anti-racist, and obviously anti-racist. Replacing Robert E. Lee with John Robert Lewis is about as powerful an anti-racist symbol as you have the power to enact at this precise moment in history. Buildings change over time.  Names of buildings change over time.  And, in a positive way, values change over time as well.  When this school was named, the most powerful members of our community as a whole believed that Robert E. Lee was a hero to literally put on a pedestal and emulate.  We have an opportunity now to define who, as a community, we want to raise up to emulate.  Even kindergarteners like my son know that roads and buildings should be named after “good guys” (and good women), people we should literally look up to on our school buildings. For the children of Fairfax County Public Schools, for our future, and for the **legacy that we leave** to the generations after us, that new name should be John Robert Lewis High School.

I am a student and leader at Justice High School. I am a constituent of Fairfax schools. I have emailed you today to press and advocate the moral issue of Robert E. Lee High School. As a education institution, you should know who Robert E. Lee is and what he stood for. Unfortunately, it seems as if you are uninformed, and you are blind to the facts. Robert E. Lee was a racist, a white supremacist, a murderer, a bigot, a slave owner, and a xenophobe. I could go on with this list all day. It is unacceptable and abhorrent this excuse for a man is the representative of one of your schools. Do you find any wrong in the fact that you force countless POC to attend a school named after a person who would have wanted to enslave them? I am disgusted to be apart of your schooling system. It sickens me to know that a EDUCATING Institution — out of all things, can be so ignorant, so backward, and benighted.  The irony is blinding. The fact that this man was complicit in ripping this country apart in the name of white supremacy should never be worthy of admiration.  His actions contributed to the deaths of almost 600,000 people.  Being a leader or apart of history does not justify his veneration.  You cannot remain complicit anymore, Robert E. Lee’s name and values must be removed immediately from Fairfax County Schools.

I advocate FOR THE NEW NAME OF LEE HIGH SCHOOL TO BE MARY K. JACKSON. Mary K. Jackson was a native Virginia black women and NASA first female black engineer. Her spirit was described as  a “gentle lady, wife and mother, humanitarian and scientist.” For Mary Jackson, science and service went hand in hand. She retired from NASA in 1985 and died in 2003.  See her biography at this link:  https://www.nasa.govcontent/mary-jackson-biography. She wold be an inspiration to all students. She has several degrees and was an all around good citizen and had a ife time of service.  Please consider her for the new name of Lee high school. She has several degrees and was an all around good citizen and had a life time of service.  You might recognize her from the movie about her "Hidden Figures".  She would be an inspiration to all STUDENTS AND THE NEIGHBORHOOD. Please consider MARY JACKSON for the new name of Lee high school.

As you know, Robert E. Lee High School is named after someone who had a infamous past for being pro-segregation and discrimination. This is a great example of what FCPS should not stand for! By renaming this high school after John Lewis, a civil rights activist, FCPS shows that they actually care about standing up to systemic racism in this county. It’s time that FCPS should do better and  BE better by renaming Robert E. Lee High School after Representative John Lewis.

I am in support of renaming REL high school in honor of Rep John Lewis.

I am writing to express my profound support for renaming Robert E Lee High School to show support for our community members who are people of color. As a taxpayer and parent in Fairfax County, I want to show that we are a school system that lifts up people of color to reach their full potential.

I was born and raised in Fairfax County and am currently a Fairfax County resident. I am writing you today to express my support for Lee High School to be renamed to honor the life of Rep. John Lewis. The President of Fairfax County NAACP said it best:  "We believe any name chosen should directly address Fairfax County Public School's role in segregation and discrimination and rebuke the legacy of Robert E. Lee."  Therefore, the name Legacy High School is not appropriate. It is not an acceptable compromise, it is a weak stance against white supremacy. High schools should be named after people we hope our students will emulate. I call on you to please act in a timely manner to rename public schools after Civil Rights leaders to honor their contributions and sacrifices. Please rename Lee High School to John Lewis High School. 

I support the renaming of Robert E. Lee H.S. and support changing it to honor the late civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis. Please help make our community better for our children. 

I’m a FCPS parent I totally support the changing of the name of Lee high school. We should not be venerating the confederacy and white supremacy. please consider changing the name to John Lewis High school, a true American hero.

I taught at Lee for 4 years and I fully support the name change to John Lewis HS. I would feel great about saying I worked at a school named after this great man.

I would like to submit Mary W.  Jackson as a possibility as the new name for Lee High School: smart, scholarly, hard-working, an inspiration to students everywhere, and well-known because of the movie Hidden Figures, which was such a great movie and made Mary W. Jackson widely familiar. If you somehow, inexplicably, fail to  see the wisdom of my suggestion (!!!), then I could tolerate the choice of Mildred Loving as a second-place alternative, and she is already on the list. 

I am writing to ask you to rename Robert E. Lee High School to John Lewis High School. The late Congressman Lewis was a significant Civil Rights leader who committed his life to the fight for racial justice. He was the kind of person we need to honor when naming schools.  In contrast, it is unacceptable for a school to be named after a Confederate General who opposed racial equality. The school must be renamed now. Changing the school's name to John Lewis High School would symbolize solidarity with and support for racial justice. While the efforts to dismantle racism in the school system must be ongoing, this is an immediate, actionable step that can be taken now. 

I would strongly recommend against the name being that of any person, living or dead, because that person's reputation may change over time and the school name would have to be changed again.  I strongly recommend Springfield or Central Springfield.  I presume adding Central to the name is to distinguish it from West Springfield.  However I do not think that is necessary because I don't believe there would be any confusion using only Springfield.  The term Central Springfield is seldom used and Springfield is the name overwhelming used for the neighborhood.

John Lewis displayed moral courage from his teen years and did not waiver through his adult years. His legacy will serve as a shining example of high character to our youth. It will show they can be informed and stand up for what is right at a young age and be change agents for their community. I fully recommend changing the name to John Lewis High School.

I attend lee high school and as a rising senior I feel like students should get a louder say the random community remembers which is why I don’t understand why there isn’t a poll being taken instead of just having a community meeting that no one has said anything to the students about. LEGACY high school 21

I was born and raised in Fairfax County and graduated from a FCPS high school. I am writing to ask you to rename Robert E. Lee High School to John Lewis High School. The late Congressman Lewis was a significant Civil Rights leader who committed his life to the fight for racial justice. He was the kind of person we need to honor when naming schools. In contrast, it is unacceptable for a school to be named after a Confederate General who opposed racial equality. The school must be renamed now. Changing the school's name to John Lewis High School would symbolize solidarity with and support for racial justice. While the efforts to dismantle racism in the school system must be ongoing, this is an immediate, actionable step that can be taken now. 

I am a FCPS graduate, FCPS parent, FCPS employee and Fairfax County homeowner and am writing this evening to urge you to rename Robert E. Lee High School to John Lewis High School. The late Congressman Lewis is an icon of the Civil Rights movement who committed his life to fighting for People of Color. There is no denying that White supremacy and racism exist in our school system. Some signs of racism lurk in dark corners that are overlooked by the untrained eye that lacks an anti-racist lens like the disproportionate student disciplinary data. Other signs of racism are a constant slap in the face like the name of a Confederate General who opposed racial equality for African Americans being affixed to a school building and printed on hundreds of FCPS graduates' diplomas every year. In Dr. Brabrand's communications with the Fairfax NAACP, he said he does not want to be the Superintendent of a racist school system. He is putting his words into action in many ways, one of them being the name suggestions he provided to the Board. Not only would renaming Lee HS to John Lewis High School be an important symbol of support for the people who are fighting for their lives today, it would also be a small step towards eradicating racism from our school system. 

First in for most, I want to take this time to commend the board and county staff for taking steps to move towards an anti-racist system within FCPS by renaming Robert E Lee high school. I am writing this email as a Black woman, FCPS employee, and mother of a potential future FCPS student. I would like to endorse the name choice of John Lewis high school. John Lewis represented the civil activism and engagement I hope to teach our children about in their civics classes. He promoted critical thinking, education, civil rights, and perseverance. I would also like to openly share my reservation for naming the school legacy high school. By using the name legacy it brings up the question of who’s legacy? The legacy of Robert E. Lee? The legacy of racism that we are continuing to dismantle? Let us be clear and direct in the ideals, values and missions we want to uphold in this school district.

Please change Lee high School's name as soon as possible. We should honor John Lewis, the active civil rights leader who has made monumental impact toward having an anti-racism society. Please name the school John Lewis high School.

Please consider renaming Robert E. Lee High School to honor the late civil rights icon, Rep. John Lewis. It is essential that this high school be renamed to honor a more admirable individual. Rep. John Lewis, a civil rights leader who fought for quality and inspired generations of activists, would make an excellent candidate. 

I am a resident of Mason District and a FCPS alumna. I am relieved and hopeful over the decision to rename Lee High School. I'm writing to suggest a new namesake for the high school: Minnie Beckwith Hughes. While researching the history of black education in Fairfax County and Northern Virginia recently, I came across a newsletter published by Historic Fairfax City, Inc. in 2006 (https://www.historicfairfax.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/HFCI41-2006.pdf). The issue contains an article by William Page Johnson, II, relating the remarkable story of Philip and Minnie Hughes (beginning on page 4), two Black educators who devoted themselves to the education of Black children in the Fairfax area. According to Johnson's article, Minnie Beckwith Hughes was born in 1871 in Fairfax County; her parents were freed slaves. From the article:  Minnie Hughes succeeded her husband as the teacher at the Fairfax African American School in 1916. The distance from their home on Braddock Road to the school was approximately three miles, which she reached by horse and buggy. In the winter months, she usually arrived early enough to light a fire in the central pot-bellied stove. Although she was a teacher for more than thirty years, Minnie did not receive regular pay from the Fairfax County School Board until 1916. A teacher’s pay was small, only $8.00 per month. Laurence Nolan [Minnie's grandson], relates, “On one occasion there was not enough money to pay her [Minnie’s] salary and the community took up a collection for her. Grandma, who lived to be 103, earned much more in retirement than she ever did teaching.” (p. 5)  One former student recalled this memory of the early schoolhouse and Minnie Hughes:  As a child, Etta [Bowles Strozier] walked several miles to school, “through the woods and fields,” from her home on Roberts Road. Etta recalls that Mrs. Hughes came to school in a small horse and buggy. She also remembers,“Because there was no stable, Mrs. Hughes kept her horse underneath the school. We would occasionally hear him snorting underneath us. One day, because the building was in such bad shape, Mrs. Hughes fell through the rotten floorboards and landed right on that old horse. She wasn’t hurt, but it took some time to get her unstuck.” (p. 5)  Later, when the Fairfax Rosenwald School was built (1925-26) (near present-day George Mason University), Minnie Beckwith Hughes became its first principal and gave the opening remarks at its dedication ceremony in 1926 (p. 6). From Johnson's article: "In addition to being principal, Minnie taught the upper grades, as well" (p. 6). After a long career dedicated to the education of Black students in Fairfax, she retired in May 1937 (p. 8). There are no Fairfax County high schools named after women, few of Virginians, and none of Black women or educators. Renaming Lee High School after Minnie Beckwith Hughes would be a great way to honor the Black educators and students of Fairfax County, and would be well-deserved recognition of a Black woman who gave so much to her community and to future generations.

I am a music educator for FCPS, an At-Large Board Member of the Fairfax Education Association, and a member of the Fairfax NAACP. I am sending in my recommendation that Robert E. Lee High School's name be changed to Rep. John Lewis in light of his passing and his relentless dedication to civil rights.

My Choice is JOHN LEWIS HIGH SCHOOL.  He was a fierce advocate for Education, Housing, and Civil Rights.  What an amazing lesson to teach our children today!

Given the long history of violent racism against Black Americans in Virginia, it is abhorrent that in 2020, there still is a high school in this county named after Robert E. Lee. By having fought to defend the institution of slavery as part of the Confederate Army, his name brings trauma to Black Americans students and their parents of Fairfax County. I am calling upon you to rename Robert E. Lee High School to John Lewis High School, after the Civil Rights Era icon and U.S Congressman who recently passed away. His fight for racial justice is something all students can learn from and is a better figure to highlight than a slave owner such as Robert E. Lee. Do the right thing for our children's sake.

“Legacy” means the 1980/81 AAA State Championship Basketball team, or the three Gold Medals won at 15 years old by Melissa Belote, while she was a student at Lee, an Olympic swimmer in the 1972 and 1976 Olympics and Lee High School Graduate: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melissa_Belote. Legacy also means the legacy of outstanding educators like Jack Baumgartner, Jim England and Bill Jackson. All three men dedicated their careers, shaping young minds at Lee HS. Those are just a few examples of why current and future students should be proud of being part of the Legacy and they can continue it with their own excellence! Last week at the community meeting one of the people in my discussion group was a social studies teacher from Lee HS. She had concern about the name “Legacy”. She said, “what does that mean?” and she was wondering if a name like “Legacy” is “giving a nod to the Confederacy.” I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. How anyone can arrive at that conclusion was mind boggling to me. “Legacy” has absolutely nothing to do with the Confederacy. Legacy is the legacy of the school itself and it’s people. I believe that this person fabricated that notion based on her own feelings that she would like to see the school named after a civil rights figure such as Mildred Loving. A nod to the Confederacy is no one’s intention and I believe it’s irresponsible to fabricate this idea. I tell you this story because it’s likely you’ve heard the same notion. After the social studies teacher spoke, another teacher at Lee came on in support of the name Legacy, which was encouraging. The school board has already made a statement by voting to change the name Robert E. Lee. Going forward there is no need to make any further statements. I know you hear this a lot, but in this case, we don’t need to erase history because the history of Lee High School’s students and teachers is honorable. Some current students in our group also liked “Loving”. Remember, in a few short years, they too will be alumni. Give the students a name where they can be proud of the past, present and future. I have written in with a few other suggested names in the last month, but all things considered, Legacy High School is the best new name for Robert E. Lee HS.

I am composing this email to urge Fairfax County Public schools to rename Robert E. Lee public school. The position taken by the Confederacy is against the rights and core foundations of the United States of america. I hope you take this into account coming from a Fairfax county public schools alumni.

I am a former student of FCPS and current resident of Fairfax County. I am writing to show my support to rename the former Robert E. Lee High School after civil rights activist and Congressman John Lewis. Superintendent Brabrand mentioned John Lewis High School as a potential new name for the school during the School Board’s business meeting on June 23rd, and the Fairfax County NAACP supports naming the school after this American hero. Congressman Lewis exemplified what it means to stand up for the rights of all Americans, including 60 years fighting against racial oppression as both an activist and as a politician. I took Virginia history in 4th Grade, as all students in FCPS do. One of the things we learned about Virginia was that it was the capital of the Confederacy during the Civil War. Robert E. Lee was a general in the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia, fighting to maintain the violent institution of slavery. During the height of the modern civil rights movement, many public institutions were named after Confederate generals as a backlash towards Black Americans advocating for equal rights. The choice to name Robert E. Lee High School after a Confederate general reflects this history, as the school was founded in 1958, only 4 years after the Supreme Court ruled that school segregation on the basis of race was unconstitutional. Renaming the school after Congressman Lewis, an icon of the Civil Rights movement of the 20th century, would be one small step towards recognizing and rectifying the history of racial injustice tied to the name of Robert E. Lee High School. 

I am a R.E. Lee graduate from 1995.  I have recently heard that you guys are considering changing the name of the high school.  I'm all for changing the name, I believe that the school should be named for someone who we can all be proud of.  I understand that R.E. Lee was a great general, but he has a checkered past.  I believe that we should name the school after someone who had a positive impact on our culture and history.  Since Senator John Lewis recently passed away, we should really consider renaming the school after him.

As a recently graduated FCPS senior, I am appalled that a school in our diverse and inclusive county bears the name of a confederate general. As has been highlighted in recent political discourse, the commemoration of confederate figures is harmful. These reminders of a rebel state that fought to uphold slavery do not create an environment of mutual respect and tolerance. FCPS must continue the precedent set by Justice (formerly JEB Stuart) HS and rename the school for a positive role model that better represents and supports the community. I urge you to consider honoring the recently deceased Rep John Lewis in the renaming process.

I am writing you as a Fairfax County homeowner and resident, FCPS parent, and member of the Fairfax County NAACP. I'm writing today in support of the renaming of Robert E. Lee High School to John Lewis High School. This is not only a timely remembrance of a great man, but appropriate during this time of showing support for so many who are fighting for their rights and their lives. Dismantling white supremacy in our institutions will take much more than renaming our buildings, but symbols are important. Naming a school for Rep. Lewis will demonstrate to youths and community members of all races and cultures that FCPS is ready to address systemic racism. John Lewis High School has a great and noble ring to it. I hope the School Board hears it too.

I am a 1975 graduate of Robert E. Lee High School. The majority of comments and suggestions I have read on the renaming have been intelligent, respectful, and thought provoking. Although I would prefer the name to be shortened to Lee (the district), that is unlikely to happen. Please don’t pick any current/recent politicians such as John Lewis or Barack Obama. This would be very divisive. I agree that “Loving Lancers” also isn’t a good choice. Historical figures I would support include Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman and Katherine Johnson (NASA mathematician).

In my opinion, the best choice would be to go with a neutral, non-offensive name such as Franconia or Central Springfield High School. Hopefully the beloved Lancers mascot and blue/gold colors can remain the same.

I am an active member of the Fairfax County community. I am emailing you today to give my input on the renaming process of Robert E. Lee High School. I believe that the new name should reflect the late John Lewis. An icon in the civil rights movements, and an inspiration to all, this would help to create the inclusive community that we strive for and forever honor Lewis for his sacrifice and efforts. 

Having a daughter who graduated from Lee, in this environment feel schools should not be named after individuals.?? In the interest of being neutral and uncontroversial, vote for changing the name from Robert E Lee to Central Springfield.?? Hope the Board/community agrees.

To whom it may concern: I support renaming the Robert E Lee High school in Memory of our beloved Representative John L Lewis. He gave tirelessly for the rights of African Americans and all people of Color.  I am honored to support this effort. 

I am a proud alumni of Lee.  All of my siblings (5) graduated from Lee, as did my own 3 children.  I am proud not because of the name, but because of the friends I made and the caring teachers I had. I am also proud of this board for recognizing the need to change the school's name and diminish the ideals the rebel soldiers were fighting to keep in place; human slavery.  Please continue to be brave by choosing an African American person that gives our young people pride and hope, and not capitulate by choosing  a name that is generic to satisfy one group of people.  Since you are turning our backs on celebrating racism,  do the opposite and celebrate the accomplishments and bravery of JOHN LEWIS, BARACK OBAMA and MILDRED LOVING by picking one of them to honor our school building. Thank you for doing your part to end the commemorating our racist heritage and taking one step toward accepting our historical truth even if it is badly tarnished.

I think the best name is Mildred Loving! Ms. Loving is from Virginia, her story is one of love and hope, and her legacy is a gift to all Americans. What a great way for your students, teachers and staff to start, spend and end their day--feeling good and being inspired by a message of commitment, respect, love, hope, grace and courage.

I am a rising senior. I was very happy to hear that the school board was considering changing the name of Robert E. Lee high school. The name is outdated and offensive, which I hope you are fully aware of. Why should we celebrate an evil person who fought to keep American people enslaved? It is MORE then overdue to change this offensive name and I hope the school board will take permanent action to change it. Robert E. Lee was not an American hero, he was a traitor to his country. Why should a school celebrate him? There are so many unrecognized and more deserving Americans to celebrate instead. This includes the late John Lewis who recently died. He was a real American hero who fought against segregation and truly made America a better place. I implore you to deeply consider a name change and not to wait to procrastinate. It is already long overdue. 

Please learn from history and do not rename Lee High School after a person....any person. Anything named after a person in favor today will likely be out of favor tomorrow. Especially those names I have read that have been proposed will likely be problematic. If you must name the school after a person (which again I do not recommend) at least it should be a prominent person from Virginia.

As a Fairfax County Public Schools graduate and current resident Fairfax County, I urge the School Board to rename Robert E. Lee High School after John Lewis. Words matter. The name of a public institution conveys its values. By renaming Lee High School after John Lewis, you can take a small step towards walking the talk of the One Fairfax initiative. More broadly, I urge FCPS to rename Lee District based upon the chosen new name of the high school. I encourage the School Board to rename Lee's Corner Elementary School and Mosby Woods Elementary School.

I am writing to support the call to rename Robert E. Lee High School. FCPS should not celebrate the racist legacy of this man, and should instead celebrate those who fought diligently for civil rights. I support renaming the school after Rep. John Lewis. Do the right thing.

As a former student of Fairfax county schools, I greatly appreciate the school board’s decision to acknowledge the community of the Fairfax county concerns in regards to the renaming of former Robert E. Lee High School. As suggestions have poured into the school boards, I respectfully request the high school to be named after L. Douglas WilderAs the first African American to serve as governor of a U.S. states since  Reconstruction, and the first elected African-American governor. Gov. Wilder has contributed to the state of Virginia for many decades and it would be an honor to his legacy while he is still alive for such consideration and selection. As an alternative suggestion I would also recommend Author Ashe who was  the first black player selected to the United States Davis Cup team and the only black man ever to win the singles title at Wimbledon, the US Open, and the Australian Open. Also as a Virginian who attended segregated schools here in Virginia. 

I am a Fairfax county resident. I grew up in the FCPS system and hope to raise my kids in this system as well. I feel like it is more important than ever to have more representation of BIPOC in our school system through the names of our schools. I was so proud and lucky to attend Langston Hughes middle school and we spent a lot of time in our classes learning about him. This is what I want for the Robert E Lee High School students as well. Please rename the school after Representative John Lewis.

I am an alum of LHS. Even during my time, word was going around that they wanted to change the school’s name and although this should’ve have happened earlier, especially considering Lee is one of the most diverse schools in the county, it’s “better late than never.” I would like to nominate “John Lewis High School" to be our new name, for he represents all that school’s qualities and will do it justice as well. 

I stand with and echo the Fairfax Branch of the NAACP’s endorsement to rename Robert E Lee HS after the late Rep. John Lewis, a civil rights legend whose life inspired a generation of activists. Please do what is right in renaming this school and rebuking anti-Black racism.

I'm writing to urge the school board to replace this confederate symbol with a name that actually means something. What is the point of renaming it Legacy or Central Springfield? These names mean nothing. 

Let's name it after Rep. John Lewis. His fight for civil rights could not be more relevant in 2020. Take this opportunity to show what Fairfax County Public Schools stands for: inclusion, equity, progress.

I am a Fairfax County resident and parent and I wanted to voice my opinion in support of changing the name of the current Robert E. Lee High School and instead name the school after the late Rep. John Lewis. This will be an important step in addressing the history of racism in our county and begin to make changes that work toward much needed reparations.

I’m a Robert E Lee high school graduate (1993) and so excited to hear that we are finally renaming this school. As an alumni and a person of color, I always found it embarrassing to admit the full name of my old high school. I am in favor of renaming the school after the late John Lewis and hope this is being fully considered.

I am writing to request Fairfax County Public School's support in rebuking the legacy of Robert E. Lee by renaming the Robert E. Lee High School.  Instead of honoring a commander of the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War, let's honor a Civil Rights icon, Congressman John Lewis.

I'm writing to express my wish for the Fairfax County School Board to rename Robert E. Lee High School after the late civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis (1940-2020). I'm a Fairfax County resident and it's time for change, here and across the country. It would be a small step in the right direction.

I support the renaming of Robert E. Lee High School.  It should be named instead for the civil rights activist Representative John Lewis. 

I am a former student of Fairfax County Public Schools. As a former student, I valued my time in the FCPS system and earned a great education. However, my education still remains incomplete. Part of this is because of the white-washed and heavily guarded education I received that tiptoed around racial subjects that I believe needs to be taught to students of all ages. While I hope that FCPS will work to include Black history and rewrite its curriculum, it is imperative that we take more steps to make FCPS a safe place for all its students. Robert E. Lee High School is named after a confederate general that we learn about in classes throughout FCPS education, but his name and what he fought for stands for hate and oppression. We have preserved history by teaching it to our students, but we do not need to memorialize his name. I, along with many others, believe renaming Robert E. Lee High School is a good step to helping our entire community feel safe and supported. We recommend renaming Robert E. Lee High School after Rep. John Lewis, an inspirational man who stood for everyone's equality. He fought for what was right and made a difference for many people's lives. He is deserving of memorialization. If not Rep. John Lewis, we believe any name chosen for this school should directly address FCPS's role in segregation and discrimination and rebuke the legacy of Robert E. Lee. 

I’m writing in support of renaming Robert E. Lee HS to John R. Lewis HS, as a result of the amazing contributions the late Congressman Lewis had on our nation and fight for civil liberties and equality. It should be of no debate that this HS name must change, therefore, thank you for your consideration of this name change.  I would be encouraged by the leadership of the school board to honor a man who represents the fight against racial injustice and equality. I plan to also attend the public hearing on July 22nd, where I hope to see real change occur.

I am writing to urge you to honor Civil Rights icon, John Lewis, by renaming Robert E. Lee High School to John Lewis High School. We should not be honoring Confederate generals in this way. However, it would be fitting to honor the courageous Civil Rights leader and long term congressman, John Lewis.

Let's rename the school after the recently departed civil rights leader, icon and representative, John Lewis.

I’m writing in support of renaming Robert E. Lee HS to John R. Lewis, in recognition of the great contributions the late Congressman Lewis had on our nation and fight for civil liberties and equality. I plan to also attend the public hearing on July 22nd, and would be encouraged by the school boards consideration to this name,  to rebuke the discriminatory legacy of Robert E. Lee and instead honor a man worthy of its recognition.

As a Fairfax County resident, South Lakes High School graduate, and former student of Fox Mill Elementary School and Rachel Carson Middle School, I am urging you to please change the name of Robert E. Lee High School. It is long past time for our schools to move away from and recognize the wrong in the state's Confederate past. It is shameful that we subject students of color in Fairfax County to an environment that inherently makes their access to education unequal. We are doing a disservice to our students on a daily basis when we perpetuate a racist culture and a racist history in our schools and in our County. Now more than ever, we have an opportunity to make this decades-long wrong a right for our kids. I ask that you do everything in your power to strip this school of the name Robert E. Lee and consider renaming one of our schools after a civil rights icon. In the same way that it was important to me as a female student to have my middle school (Rachel Carson) named after an important female figure, it is meaningful and powerful for our Black students to have a school recognize an important figure in the Black community.

I'd love to see the name of Robert E. Lee High School changed to John Lewis High School to honor the late representative and to inspire the school's students.

Thank you for changing the school name.  Great job. The school should not be named after any one individual.  That is absurd.  Central Springfield is fine. I look forward to the day when all slave owner names are removed from our institutions including slave owner, George Washington, slave owner George Mason, slave owner James Madison.  These all need to be changed.  Slavery was immoral and these men used human beings for economic benefit.  They had full knowledge of the immorality of slave ownership yet chose to do so anyway.  They are not to be honored and our rhetoric must change on this matter.  It is degrading to blacks in our country and all of us.  

I respectfully request the High School to be named after Roberto Clemente, an exceptional role model and incorruptible. The problem with political names, as with the present name, background exposure and political change of atmosphere. Representing the 43 percent as an American with Hispanic roots, I nominate the above Solid unswayed individual.

I advocate renaming the Robert E. Lee High School for JOHN R. LEWIS.

First Choice:  Mildred Loving  (As you may know, Mrs. Loving from Virginia in the late 60s Mrs. Loving had the courage to move fourth with a case to the Supreme Court regarding marriage equality.  She and her husband fought racism to ensure that their marriage would be legalized).  This case is a part of Virginia's history. Second Choice:  Legacy

John Lewis always had hope for America, had hope that we could overcome racism and live in a country of equality and true freedom. My children are grown now, both having graduated from Lee.  Like parents everywhere, we hope our children will grow and flourish, and live lives fulfilled, chasing their dreams, undaunted by the challenges, all the while keeping peace with themselves and the world around them.  That was John Lewis, and that is his legacy.  John Robert Lewis is as good a role model as can be found, and his legacy a tool for learning about our true history as well as the power of aspiration and optimism. What I would say to graduates, now and in the future, is that I hope they grow up and emulate this great man.

I would like to highly recommend the name of John Lewis High School as a replacement for the name Robert Lee HS.

Central Springfield High is most appropriate name out of the suggestions from the superintendent. It complements west Springfield high. 

Please rename Robert E. Lee High School John Lewis High School

Good afternoon, I am a Lorton resident but I grew up in the Huntley precinct and graduated from West Potomac High School in 2003. I'm very glad to see that Robert E. Lee High School will finally be renamed. Of the choices presented I think that Mildred Loving High School is the best choice. The Loving v. Virginia case is a landmark case and drives home the point of removing the Lee name from the school. This case represents a step in the right direction and is a perfect reminder of how far we have come and how far we still have to go. Less meaningful arguments would be keeping the letter L in the name to reduce the number of items that may need to be replaced. Loving High School would still have the LHS initials. Also, Mildred Loving is the only Virginia specific option (except for Central Springfield). Central Springfield is very generic and boring, especially since there is a Springfield in every state in the US. Central Springfield is also meaningless. There is no other local landmark or referral to an area labeled Central Springfield. While I admire the work of Barack Obama and Cesar Chavez this is not Hawaii, Illinois, Arizona or California. If will be more meaning to have a Virginia figure we can be proud of to replace a Virginia figure representing the shame of slavery and oppression. Which brings me to the proposal of "Legacy" as the new name. Absolutely under no circumstances should the name Lee be replaced by the name "Legacy". Just what "Legacy" are we referring to here? the "Legacy" of slavery and opression that we are trying to address here with the name change? This dog whistle name should not even be considered as a serious option.

I very much hope we see Mildred Loving High School but the other names would be an improvement to Lee High School - except for "Legacy". Did I mention that "Legacy" would completely defeat the purpose of renaming the school? Seriously, any of the other options besides "Legacy".

I strongly recommend the board chooses “John Lewis High School” for the renaming of Lee High School. If this isn’t the reason to the renaming of a high school in this man’s honor, I don’t know what is. “Take a long, hard look down the road you will have to travel once you have made a commitment to work for change. Know that this transformation will not happen right away. Change often takes time. It rarely happens all at once. In the movement, we didn't know how history would play itself out. When we were getting arrested and waiting in jail or standing in unmovable lines on the courthouse steps, we didn’t know what would happen, but we knew it had to happen. Use the words of the movement to pace yourself. We used to say that ours is not the struggle of one day, one week, or one year. Ours is not the struggle of one judicial appointment or presidential term. Ours is the struggle of a lifetime, or maybe even many lifetimes, and each one of us in every generation must do our part. And if we believe in the change we seek, then it is easy to commit to doing all we can, because the responsibility is ours alone to build a better society and a more peaceful world.“ John Robert Lewis. May he Rest In Peace.

If this isn’t the reason to the renaming of a high school in this man’s honor, I don’t know what is. “Take a long, hard look down the road you will have to travel once you have made a commitment to work for change. Know that this transformation will not happen right away. Change often takes time. It rarely happens all at once. In the movement, we didn't know how history would play itself out. When we were getting arrested and waiting in jail or standing in unmovable lines on the courthouse steps, we didn’t know what would happen, but we knew it had to happen. Use the words of the movement to pace yourself. We used to say that ours is not the struggle of one day, one week, or one year. Ours is not the struggle of one judicial appointment or presidential term. Ours is the struggle of a lifetime, or maybe even many lifetimes, and each one of us in every generation must do our part. And if we believe in the change we seek, then it is easy to commit to doing all we can, because the responsibility is ours alone to build a better society and a more peaceful world.“ John Robert Lewis. 

I am a long time resident of Lee District, Graduate of Mt Vernon High School, Walt Whitman Intermediate and Fort Hunt Elementary. Let me play Devil's Advocate on why not to change the name of Robert E. Lee High School. We are in a pandemic with schools closed. This is possibly continuing into the fall. Students may have to register online at their high school and take courses there.  Changing the name of the high school will be confusing. Students won't know what school they go to. They won't know where to sign up. So some will miss the start of classes. This will make pandemic a failure for Fairfax schools. In a normal year, you just get on the bus, and the bus driver knows which school you go to because of where they picked you up. If you change the name in a normal year, students just have to get on the bus at their local stop. They don't have to know anything. With the schools closed, each and every student has to get it right before the start of classes. Or it is a failure. Furthermore, half the investigative workers in the federal government are home in Fairfax County with nothing to do.  You can check DC traffic cameras to verify the streets around the federal buildings in DC are empty. If there is a foul up in the schools, they can investigate you. How does an investigator's mind work?  The name change was intentional. The school board wanted more confusion. Why? Because the school board is using the pandemic closure to divert funds to contractors who support them. Does anyone who gets paid in any way by Fairfax County give money to your campaign? Motive. What about a state qui tam claim? Perfect. A federal investigator is not barred from a state qui tam claim. They can bring the claim against the school board as a state claim. Their status as a federal employee then doesn't matter.  Alternatively, if a federal qui tam works better, they can get a family member to bring the claim.  They may live with someone they are not married to. Or their brother or sister is. A successful qui tam claim against the school board can pay for the kids tuition all the way through law school, just like mom and dad.  The comments so far on the name change have some for and some against. https://www.fcps.edu/node/40243  But the ones against are far more passionate. These are the jurors in any pandemic mismanagement investigation case. The investigator will feel that the school board deserves it. Teaches them a lesson. They should have been working full time on making school work during the pandemic for every child instead of working their own re-election with a school name change designed to garner votes for themselves. They deserve to lose their house for that. This is how an investigator thinks, not how I think. To avoid this fate, the school board could instead choose to leave the name the same or at most shorten it to Lee High School. Many comments have suggested this already. This would avoid most of the confusion.  In any case, I wish the school board the best with their name change and their future role of defendant in pandemic mismanagement investigations. This ends the Devil's Advocate comment.

I am an alumnus of Fairfax County Schools (West Potomac High School class of 2015). I am writing in support of renaming Robert E. Lee High School after the late civil rights icon, John Lewis. I support the movement to rebuke the legacy of Robert E. Lee and address the ongoing discrimination in our county. I believe this name would be a step forward in building a brighter, more just future for our county, state, and country.

As the parent of a future FCPS student, I’m encouraged by schools removing the names of confederate soldiers. Robert E. Lee was a traitor who led traitors and should not be held up as an icon or hero as we educate our children in virtues such as equity and integrity. I cannot imagine being a Black student having to attend a school with the name of a person determined to keep their ancestors enslaved and maintain laws that established Black people as less than human. In light of this, and in recognition of his incredible legacy, I strongly encourage FCPS to rename the school after Congressman John Lewis. He’s someone worthy of instructing our students about and encouraging them to emulate his fight for justice and equality in civil and human rights.

I am a 1993 graduate of Robert E. Lee HS in Springfield, VA. I fully support the re-naming of our high school. It will not change my experience and memories, and should instead serve as a basis for continuous conversation and education. I've seen some conversation about re-naming it for John Lewis, the Civil Rights hero that recently passed away, and feel that it would be an excellent choice. Lee has a very diverse demographic, so it is especially important that the name selected is not tinged with racism, and is someone that the students can relate to and feel inspired by.

As a lifelong Fairfax County resident I am happy to hear that Robert E. Lee High School is finally being renamed. I hope that the school board will continue looking into the names of other high schools and consider others that should be renamed.  Specifically, I understand Woodson was named after a former Superintendent, specifically because of his efforts to keep Fairfax County segregated and support for the Massive Resistance movement.  As a graduate of George C. Marshall High School, it was a point of pride to attend a school named after an American hero who also helped save the world. There was no mixed legacy to grapple with.  In the entrance to the building we had several items donated by Marshall's wife. I remember my brother and other football players volunteering at the home of George C. Marshall in Leesburg. A few years ago they opened a small museum in the front of the building dedicated to Marshall so that students can continue to learn about who George C. Marshall was. These things made us feel connected to this great man. Even the mascot of the Statesmen is something that I still want to be associated with.  All students should have the opportunity to feel this way about their school's namesake. Since the decision to change Lee High School's name, I've been thinking about possible names that I would like to be considered. Names that will inspire today's students the way my classmates and I were inspired. John Lewis and Mildred Loving were the two that kept winning out in my mind.  In light of John Lewis' death this week, I wanted to contact you and voice my support for naming the school after Lewis.  He was an amazing public servant and great person.  I can only imagine that attending a school named after "The Conscience of the Congress" will be a point of pride for today's students.  And it may inspire them to change the world as young people, just as John Lewis did as a student. I can envision quotes like "When you see something that is not right, not fair, not just, you have to speak up. You have to do something" being used as teaching tools in many situations. I also understand that Legacy is one of the names being considered.  I know I'm not alone in saying that were that the decision, it would be a huge disappointment.  Legacy is still connected with celebrating the Confederacy, and while it can be interpreted in many ways, it's not the fresh start that is needed.  I'd liken it to the Redskins changing their name to the Warriors and keeping a mascot of a Native American...it's a bit better but not in the spirit of the process.  I'll close by saying that Lee is a very diverse school, and so it is especially the case there that any name is selected is not tinged with racism or can be interpreted that way. Give these students a school name that they can be proud of. 

I'm a former FCPS student, and will probably have a student who attends FCPS in the future! I think that we have an amazing chance to make the renaming of Robert E Lee high school more than a neutral change. We have the opportunity to honor someone who fought for a better future. I wish that I had been taught about Mildred Loving when I was in high school. We need to teach our children that it's important to fight for what is right and good, and what Virgininan is a better example of that than her. Please use this chance to honor someone worth honoring. As an added bonus, Loving High School sounds wonderful.

Given the history of pain caused by naming public facilities, such as schools, after Confederate "heroes" I think it is appropriate to take a step toward healing that pain by remaining Lee High School after a civil rights hero--John Lewis.  It is especially appropriate to bestow that honor on Congressman Lewis now, while he is still alive to appreciate it.  I do not have to recount here the sacrifices Congressman Lewis has made for the progress of racial equality in this country.  His sacrifices are well known and truly deserving of honor.  Not just because of the injuries he sustained as a young man fighting for equality, but also for his long career of public service, always appealing to the "better angels of our nature" and never showing the bitterness that a lesser man might certainly have felt entitled to. John Lewis deserves this honor in his lifetime.

My daughter graduated from Lee with honors in 2019.  She had a positive experience, both academically and socially.    I would like future students to have the same high school experience.  I wholeheartedly do NOT support naming the school after any person, living or dead.  As we have seen, the public's perception changes over time based on education and changing values.  I am in favor of either Legacy High School (let the students, faculty, administrators begin a new legacy of excellence) or Frontier High School after the street on which the school is located.  I support retaining Lancers and the colors. 

I am heartily in favor of renaming Robert E. Lee High School.  I am in favor of following the naming convention used for most of Fairfax County High Schools,  As noted below, 15 high schools are named for the location of the high school or of a nearby location.  The number would have been 16 if Lee High School had not been renamed Robert E. Lee High School instead of keeping the name of Lee District.  I believe Central Springfield would cause confusion with West Springfield and suggest that the new name be Franconia High School.  If that is not acceptable, I recommend John Lewis High School or Martin Luther King High School since we have no high schools named after Civil Rights leaders:   Annandale High School (Atoms) – Annandale, Centreville High School (Wildcats) – Clifton,  Chantilly High School (Chargers) – Chantilly, Fairfax High School (Lions) – Fairfax,  Falls Church High School (Jaguars) – Falls Church,  Herndon High School (Hornets) – Herndon, Langley High School (Saxons) – McLean, McLean High School (Highlanders) – McLean, Mount Vernon High School (Majors) – Alexandria, Oakton High School (Cougars) – Vienna, South County High School (Stallions) – Lorton, South Lakes High School (Seahawks) – Reston, West Potomac High School (Wolverines) – Alexandria, West Springfield High School (Spartans) – Springfield, Westfield High School (Bulldogs) – Chantilly, Thomas Alva Edison High School (Eagles) – Alexandria, Robert E. Lee High School (Lancers) – Springfield [to be renamed in July 2020],    James Madison High School (Warhawks) – Vienna, George C. Marshall High School (Statesmen) – Falls Church, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (Colonials) – Alexandria, W.T. Woodson High School (Cavaliers) – Fairfax, Justice High School (Wolves) – Falls Church. 
 

Personally our family is downhearted we could not just eliminate Robert E. and just keep our school as “Lee HS.” *Bruce Lee, deceased, an actor, producer, philosopher & martial artist, from Hong Kong would have been a politically appropriate name, as we now are watching the the rights we take for granted in the US removed piece by piece, by the Chinese Communist Government. *

I want to praise the efforts of the community to seek to find a reputable member of this country who deserves the honor of being seen by our youth everyday. I would like to offer the name of William O. Douglas who Resided in Old Town for 40 years. He was a reknowned jurist, the youngest Associate of the Supreme Court, longest serving member of the Supreme Court, and environmentalist. He spent almost 40 years protecting the values of this country and I believe he would be a phenomenal role model for our young minds to look up to. I trust that whoever is chosen, it will be a logical one and someone we can finally be proud of.

I applaud the decision to rename Robert E. Lee High School. I support renaming the school after Mildred Loving. While John Lewis, Barack Obama, and Cesar Chavez are also very laudable individuals, Loving lived in Virginia and helped advance equality in Virginia. Mildred Loving represents civil rights, equality, and love. 

I am a Fairfax County resident with a child in the Fairfax County schools, and I support the renaming of Robert E. Lee High School. Out of the suggested names, I write to express my preference to rename the school after Mildred Loving. The Constitution states that "Reason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort." The Confederacy declared war against the United States. Those who fought for the Confederate States of America were traitors. The movement to rename schools and remove statues honoring the traitor Robert E. Lee and other Confederate traitors is not an attempt to erase history; It is an acknowledgement that we do not honor traitors like Robert E. Lee or Benedict Arnold by erecting statues to them or naming high schools or highways for them. it is a long-overdue movement to stop honoring those who took up arms against the ideals on which this country was founded, including the ideal that all are created equal. We do not need monuments to honor men who fought against the ideals that we hold dear. Instead, we should honor those who represent American values of equality and justice. Mrs. Loving and her husband were the lead plaintiffs in a Supreme Court case that struck down laws in Virginia and across the country that prohibited interracial marriage. Their fight against injustice and oppression is an example of American values that should be honored. It is also the opposite of the values of the Confederacy that Robert E. Lee fought to uphold. I support renaming Robert E. Lee high school as Mildred Loving high school, to honor the values that Mildred Loving and her husband sought to uphold.

Lee District family with 2 Lee HS graduates and a current Lee HS student desires name change to be: 1st choice: Central Springfield HS. 2nd choice - Legacy HS.

My suggestions for consideration are as follows: Katherine Johnson, one of the “human computers” celebrated in Hidden Figures, Maggie Walker, the first black woman bank president, Claude Swanson, US Representative, Governor of Virginia, Senator from Virginia, and Secretary of the Navy under FDR, identified as a fighter for the working man.

I am a Robert E Lee alumni, class of 1995.  I think we should rename the school, William Carney high school.  William Carney was the first black person to recieve the medal of honor.  He was a soldier in the 54th Massachusetts. During a ferocious battle he was carrying the American flag and never let it touch the ground even though he was shot many times including in the face.  I think that would show the students to never give up on doing what is right even though faced with difficulty.

We have two juniors at Lee High School who both recommend Legacy as the new name.  We think we should stay clear of people's names to avoid possible similar problems in the future. 

I wanted to share my input. I do not believe that John Lewis and Barack Obama should be considered. I think that in this highly sensitive time that we do not politicize this moment by renaming the school, especially after John Lewis who has little to no connection to this area.  Loving and Legacy would be good alternatives and allow the school to retain its initials. As a Black resident who admires the work and contributions of both Barack and Lewis, this is not the situation to give that recognition or acknowledgment.

As the parent I of a Lee High School student, I am writing to express my sincere disgust at the options suggested for the renaming of Lee High School. Let's begin with the most egregious of the suggestions: John Lewis and Barack Obama. To begin with, neither have any connection to Springfield, Virginia nor to education in general. Lewis is from Alabama and represents the state of Georgia. Obama is from Hawaii and represented Illinois. No Virginia connection there. But what makes these two so unacceptable is their lack of morals and ethics. Lewis is the worst of the two. Spare me the rhetoric about Selma Bridge. Lewis has made a career out of being a race-baiting pathological liar. To even suggest naming one of our schools after such a lowlife suggests a serious lapse of judgement. Obama also engaged in race-baiting throughout his term in office, and aside from being the first American of part African heritage to be elected President, his administration was largely eight wasted years with little accomplishment to show for. Certainly nothing that would make him worthy of having a Virginia school named in his honor. And the growing evidence that he actively attempted to sabotage his successor will render him one of the more shameful individuals to hold that high office.In a time when we should be trying to unite a community, to suggest renaming Lee High School after either of these two individuals is incredibly foolish and divisive. Aside from a lack of wisdom and judgement, it also smacks of political bias, which should have no place in the educational system. That brings us to Cesar Chavez. Again, no connection to Springfield, Virginia (a native of Arizona and active in California),  nor education in general, but, being a Marxist labor activist and an advocate of liberation theology, definitely an icon amongst leftists and labor and leaders (but I repeat myself). So another politically biased choice, this one a sop to the teachers unions, and highly offensive to those of us who find such philosophies repugnant. Unity, bringing us all together? Not this option. The last two are the least offensive of the five suggestions. As for Mildred Loving, my first reaction was "Who?" I had to Google her name to find out about her. At least she has a Virginia connection, albeit Caroline County, and her fight against the prohibition of interracial marriage was a worthy cause. But if people have to do research to learn about her, is she really worthy of having a school named for her? Plus to suggest replacing the name of a white Confederate soldier with that of a mixed-race woman who married the white grandson of a Confederate soldier is rather curious, considering that you would still be maintaining that Confederate connection. One thumb up, one down from me for this one. Which leaves Central Springfield. To call it vanilla would be an insult to vanilla, which actually is a flavor. Central Springfield is the textbook definition of bland. I guess that makes it the least offensive of them all and the only one I could honestly give full approval of. But the better option would be to scrap all five of these and go back to the drawing board to come up with a few names that would be acceptable to the entire community. I will conclude by reiterating my honest opinion that this list is beyond flawed and unacceptable, consisting of politically biased options intended to pander to minorities and political leftists, and guaranteed to be offensive to those on the right side of the political spectrum, perhaps intentionally so. It calls into serious question Superintendent Brabrand's wisdom and judgement, and leaves me with zero confidence in his ability to adequately lead the Fairfax County Public Schools. He should resign immediately.

Please pick a name that has geographic significance like most other high schools in the county.  Since we are in Lee District, just dropping the “Robert E.” part makes the most sense and will precipitate the fewest changes to other stuff (e.g., athletic gear) and be the least expensive.  Otherwise, at least use something that has Springfield in it.

As an alumni and parent of a current student at Lee High school, I would like to put in my vote for renaming the school to LEGACY LANCERS! This is a great opportunity to begin a new school legacy built upon our amazing community.

First of all, I think it is shameful that the School Board decided to re-name Robert E. Lee High School.  It is apparent that the school board members need to study Virginia and USA history and do not care or know the people who attend the school and the people who live in Springfield.  I have lived in Springfield since 1970 and my children attended Crestwood Elementary, Key Intermediate, and Lee High School.  They played sports with the Springfield Youth Club and the Central Springfield Little League.  The parents, the volunteers, and the children have spent time, talent, and funds to make these organizations the stellar youth organizations that they are today.  Springfield is a very diverse area and the adults and children have benefited from learning to work and play together.  The children have learned to work with persons from all economic and social levels.  We have been fortunate in having superb school administrators and teachers in the Springfield schools.  It is my opinion that if the school must be renamed it be named Central Springfield High School.  This gives honor to the great place Springfield is and how important it is to those who live here and have seen it grow.  It is unfair to give the school the name of a past President or other person.  In a few years someone will come up with why that name "offends" them and the process will be all over.  How could anyone be offended with the name Central Springfield High School, ever?   Go Lancers!!!!!

My personal opinion is not to waste valuable resources on renaming schools. However, I realize that some people are still offended by the actions of people that occurred over 150 years ago. I think that renaming after another individual runs the same risk in the future when some research will find that individual also unworthy of the honor. To avoid future embarrassment, perhaps name changes should be limited to location, such as Central Springfield High School or perhaps simply calling it Lee District High School while eliminating all reference to Robert E. Lee and any other individuals named Lee. My children have already graduated from Lee High School and never used Robert E. when referring to their Alma mater.  Unless we plan on renaming everything in Virginia using just Lee, it seems that Robert E. can simply fade into the past by just dropping that portion of the name.

After reviewing the names offered by the Superintendent at the Board meeting, I’m concerned that the most of the options presented are not linked to VA or our community. The only geographic option presented was East Springfield. The location of the school is Franconia, not Springfield. If a location is being considered as the foundation for the new name, I recommend Franconia. Mildred Loving would be an incredible namesake for the school - she’s tied to VA, race equality (through the Supreme Court decision), is a woman (gender equality), and demonstrates that one person (or couple, in this case) CAN make a difference. Naming the school for ethnic leaders with a tie to protest (i.e., Caesar Chávez) and a specific political and religious affiliation would continue to be divisive, I believe, and strongly recommend against that approach, as I believe the intent with the renaming is to bring unity to the community and school population. Plus, he had no ties to VA whatsoever. The other 2 people recommended (John Lewis and Barack Obama), though important historical figures, also have no direct ties to VA.  My 2 recommendations, again, would be Franconia (geography-based), or Loving (historical figure-based).

If a change is necessary then I think the most appropriate name change should be Central Springfield High School. 

My first choice would be Legacy High School because it connotes a universal theme of leaving people and things better than before. I think this is PERFECT- no matter who you are. My second, and only other choice, would be Mildred Loving. She’s from our state and so has a direct connection to us. She also represents racial harmony, which is more than appropriate going forward.

As a parent of Lee HS student, I would choose the name Central Springfield High School. It’s based on geography and hopefully will not offend anyone.

I vote for Legacy, it is a good way to allow us to still be the Lancers and sounds good together.  I believe the school should not be named after a person because if that person ever does anything wrong then we will be changing the school name again legacy allows for that not to happen.

I’d like to submit a few suggestions for Lee HS’ new name. I strongly believe we should avoid naming the school after a person, as nearly everyone will eventually have something in their life that history will eventually find offensive. To avoid this, I’ve suggested some names that (hopefully) can’t trigger concern. Backlick Run High, Long Branch High, Legacy High, Legend High, Liberty High, Lincoln High, Pohick High, North County High, Northeast County High, Crossroads High, Franconia High. I do hope we can keep the Lancer mascot!

I am a class of 1973 Graduate from Robert E. Lee High School. While I'm not overly happy about changing the name of the high school we were graduated from, I want the new name to at least have meaning that will move forward and not be susceptible to change in the future.  Reading through various posts and sifting through my own thoughts,  here's a few suggestions that blend with Lancers: American H.S. Lancers, Central (Springfield)  H.S. Lancers, Freedom H.S. Lancers, Heritage H.S. Lancers, Leadership H.S. Lancers, Legacy H.S. Lancers, Patriot H.S. Lancers, Springfield H.S. Lancers, Lee District H.S. Lancers     (the original name in 1958).  My thinking for the new name is more a positive theme than a person's name, which could create as much strife as the  present issue. My preference would be to spend money on education programs and upgrades to the school for the students and faculty. In my opinion, the renaming decision should be delayed as we address issues with the Pandemic and getting students and teachers back to school. Money spent in changing school names might be better spent on more immediate needs...like food programs, Pandemic adjustments/supplies, or clinics for residents. Our pantries and charities are running on empty.  If Fairfax County has millions laying around, maybe these dollars can be spent more wisely during such challenging times.  But...if a name change would absolutely prove to be a positive cultural change for the students, I believe any of the names I mentioned above would be acceptable. Thank you for your consideration in this matter.  Changing an institution's name after over 60 years is also traumatic for many of your citizens who have supported said institution for so long.  In my humble opinion, I am still surprised that a community/county vote is not being considered in all these proposed name changes. 

I am a teacher at Lee High School.  I think the new name should be Central Springfield because it is inclusive for everyone.  It is important to have a name that represents all the various groups of students, teachers and staff at Lee High School.   Another suggestion is Lancer High School because we are the Lancers.

I have recently been hired as the new Dean of Students for Lee HS, but had the privilege to work there for 6 years as an Itinerant ESOL and Special Education Teacher prior to my new role. One of the things that I love about LHS is the inclusive environment. Granted, we are not perfect and can always improve. However, after 18 years in the county, I do feel like this particular community does inclusion better than many other schools I have been in. They should-they were taught to embrace everyone when they were in elementary school. I also had the privilege of working with MANY of the LHS students when they were at Lynbrook Elementary School prior to becoming an itinerant. I would like to advocate for Lee HS to be renamed as Legacy HS. The students are very diverse and demonstrate an acceptance of their peers with a kindness and maturity that is not consistently seen across their age group . I would not want our name to be reflective of any one particular ethnicity, race or group; whatever we choose should be inclusive of all. We have students from a wide variety of backgrounds at LHS who each bring something unique and special to the table.  Although there are many outstanding choices in the names selected for discussion, I immediately wanted to pick Legacy HS when I read it. The legacy that we leave our students is reflected in the type of people that we raise them to be. I am also a believer that if we are not all striving  to leave a legacy for our children and students, then why are we here? There is nothing that matters more than the future we leave. It would be an honor to serve in this building under any name, but the positivity and energy inspired by the name “Legacy” would be a great way to begin a new year during such a challenging time.

I like the name Legacy High School because it would inspire students to look to who has left a legacy for them and how they may want to leave a legacy for others.

I think refraining from naming a school after any person might be best. Ghosts come out of closets eventually. The name Legacy has a nice ring to it.  Legacy Lancers that is.

Please... please...please... do not name the school after a person.  It could come back to bite you.  You think the person is the most honorable and then years later you find out (or society decides/public opinion) that there is a problem and the person was not so honorable.  Please stick with positive, encouraging but strong names.....Capital, Legacy, Frontier, Progressive, Integrity, Envision, Empower, Spirit.  I say strong words because they have sports teams and softer words ...Loving...is very hard to cheer to.  "We are the Loving....whatever"  just isn't right.  

CENTRAL SPRINGFIELD HIGH SCHOOL : The acronym is nice CSHS. It would look good on shirts for sports. Also, it describes the location of the school well.

I think we should change Lee High School to Central Springfield High School or Mildred Loving High School. If we want to name the high school after a significant person, Mildred is the one! She’s from Virginia. Her name is great and her story demonstrates value to black and white harmony and to women.

We would like to suggest the following two names as possibilities for the renaming of Lee High School:  Melissa Belote - 1972 multiple Olympic gold medal winner in swimming ; a Lee High School graduate. Christian Cooper - American science writer, American comic writer.

As Lee HS parents, here are our opinions on what the name should be changed to and our reasons. We'd like to have the name changed to "CENTRAL SPRINGFIELD" High School. This name represents the location of the school.  In addition, it doesn't involve any political affiliation which can be a controversial subject. Furthermore, we are trying to avoid a particular person's name because if we choose from a group of very specific people, we will leave out many other individuals who may also have been more positively impactful. We wouldn't want to face another change in the future like the issue with the current name. 

Central Springfield High School (An accurate name that represents our city’s high school) or the name of a local minority graduate from our school district that has achieved great success. 

As a former parent and President of Lee Sports Boosters and current Springfield resident, I felt a need to chime in on the name selection for the school.  I understand the need to change the name, however the focus right now should be placed on education and the plan for the upcoming school year due to COVID-19. I can only imagine there will be costs involved in implementing the 2020-2021 school year. As a concerned citizen on the costs of the name change , I would like to see a name that could carry the current Lancer logo to help reduce the costs associated in a name change.  I would recommend not choosing a name of a person, this could result in a name change in future years. My initial thought would be to go back to Lee High School....representative of Lee District or are we changing the name of Lee District too?  If not Lee High School, my other choices would be; (1)Springfield High School, Lancers * geographical location is Springfield, not North or East (2) Franconia High School, Franconia Lancers, (3) Liberty High School, Lancers. My last thought would be to close the school, more of a long term solution, and divide the students up to neighboring schools, as I’ve seen a decline in student population over the years.  The pupil placements at neighboring schools has been an ongoing issue, which continues to make Lee High School a less desired school.  

My preferences:  Central Springfield High School fits in with West Springfield ,South County, Westfield, and Chantilly among others.  Mildred Loving is a great idea. Legacy is okay but vanilla. Cezar Chavez - unknown around here.  John Lewis unknown. Barack Obama no comment. To me,it makes sense to name schools in relation to the area where they are located. to avoid these kinds of situations. 

As a member of the Lee High School faculty and a Fairfax County taxpayer, I want to offer my recommendation for the renaming of the school’s name.  It is my opinion naming the school after another person is problematic.  Names tend to be controversial and can eventually prove hurtful to some, as in the case of Robert E. Lee and J.E.B. Stuart.  Therefore, I think the name Legacy is a good choice and less costly to all especially if the school can retain the mascot, Lancers.  As a second choice, I suggest Springfield Central or Central Springfield.  These names go along with the region in which the school serves and is more consistent with the names of the majority of high schools in Fairfax County.

Mildred Loving High School (she represents both black and white cultures. And women.)

Please do not name this school after a person. If you are going to waste taxpayer dollars on changing the name instead of spending it to actually help the students, then at least make it a name that will offend no one.  Central Springfield is the only one that makes any sense at all.

Being in the first graduation class 1960 at Lee High School.  Since there seems to be a big problem in naming schools after famous and not so famous individuals, I suggest that the new name should be either Franconia or Central Springfield.   Since I designed the schools athletic fields in mechanical drawing class and the schools entrance sign 60 yrs ago, go with a community name. Very simple and not as many folks being really pissed off with another name change and racially dividing this county and country again.  

My vote regarding the name change (in order of preference):  Central Springfield High School  (An accurate name that represents our city’s high school). Mildred Loving High School  (She’s from Virginia. The name is great.  Her story demonstrates value to black and white harmony and to women.) Legacy High School (No real significance to our area, but every student should want to leave a legacy). Barack Obama High School (Hate the initials “BO” High School—think of BO, as in body odor; Some relevance to our high school because of our close proximity to DC and President Obama lived/worked as president in our region. I do think that a DC high school would enjoy the name more…or a high school in Chicago, etc.) Cesar Chavez High School (No significant relevance to our high school – Cesar is Mexican American, from Arizona, farm worker……our students and region don’t have a connection to him).

I graduated from Lee HS, as did my brother and 3 children. I am very happy to see the name being changed. My top choices are (in order) Legacy, Cesar Chavez, and Mildred Loving. I don't think it is a good idea to name the school after a person that is currently living. 

For far too long schools and other buildings have been named after powerful, white men. I propose the names Pauli Murray High School for the female civil rights activist, lawyer, Episcopal priest and author. My other choice is Vincent Harding High School for the scholar, social activist and author.

As a Fairfax County resident I am opposed to the name change. However, if it must be changed I'd suggest Springfield High School. I think the other  names suggested would create division rather than unity.

I'm a rising 6th grader at FCPS. I'd like to suggest a name for Lee HS. Harriet Tubman HS or Harriet HS.

As parents of two children who attended Robert E. Lee High School, we were thrilled to hear the news about the name change. Our children tossed or donated everything that had Robert E. Lee on it including a letterman's jacket.  We do not think it should be named after an individual. There are too many risks involved. 

I’d like to submit another name to add to the list of ‘candidates’ and hope that you might take it into consideration. I am a 1972 graduate of Robert E. Lee High School, which the majority of our classmates always referred to simply as Lee High School. Today, if you go to the your own Fairfax County Public School history at the site link below, it states that the school was originally named after the Lee District in northern VA, as “Lee” High School, and was later changed to Robert E. Lee High School. My older sister, my older brother, myself, and my son all graduated from Lee.  Additionally, I am aware that the Fairfax County Park Authority Board was presented with the same ‘dilemma’ to rename it’s Robert E. Lee ReCenter, and, that they chose (link below) to rename it as the Lee District RECenter after the district in which it resides. Seems simple and reasonable. The FCPA stated on their website that "We've looked at many, many facilities in our system that have attachment to icons from the Civil War and the Park Board has decided that they would rather go a different direction," she said. So, why not apply the same approach to this high school? The FCPA change was their solution, and now, is no longer considered linked to ‘icons of the Civil War’. If the school name change is a must, why not go back to it’s roots and rename as Lee High School. The school can still remain the ‘Lee’ Lancers (you save the tax payers from the cost of rebranding everything),  the rest of us that have a fond ‘history’ with this school, and can still refer to it with the name we all know and respected. Seems like a simple decision. Easy.

I am puzzled why the county is spending millions of dollars to rename a school when teachers are not receiving a COLA or step increase? This is  a horrible decision and I request the region to reconsider spending money this way and fairly compensate its employees before pandering to those who want to undertake renaming a school.

Our family had lived in the nearby Lee HS since 1962.  We vote for "Central Springfield" or some other comparable name for the school.   We are extremely wary of any person's name being used, as that name too, may become politically incorrect in the future. 

I am very disappointed that Fairfax County has fallen so far and has succumbed to the brutal assault of bowing to the politically  correct demands of the far left individuals who are now in positions of power in Fairfax County schools. I am an alumna of Robert E. Lee High School and am proud of that name and see no reason why it should be changed. Robert E. Lee was an honorable and important historical Northern Virginian and shame on you for your attempts to erase history. When I attended Lee, no one had a problem with the name of the school. It was never an issue. The school board decided that this should be an issue and forced the name change during this pandemic when little or nothing could be done by alumni and community members to stop it. You all just went forward with your agenda. The superintendent’s ideas for possible names are very poor choices: John Lewis- that is ridiculous. He has shown by his actions that he does not his follow Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream. Lewis is consistently shown, by his public comments,to judge people by their skin color, rather than their character.  Barack Obama was probably the absolute worst President to ever hold the office. He was completely  ineffective in the job, was an  embarrassment on the international stage by apologizing for America, and did more to divide this country and increase division between class and race than any modern president. None of the aforementioned people including Mildred Loving or Cesar Chavez have any connections to Northern Virginia in any way and would be poor choices as well.  I would very strongly suggest that if you are adamant about erasing history and changing the name of Robert E. Lee High School that you do not name it after a person. The names of persons the superintendent has suggested have no ties or bearing in the area and are not good choices in any way. If you must change the name, it should be a location or otherwise neutral name. It is a sad day in our society that this removal and renaming is an issue. It would be a much better use of taxpayer dollars for you to focus on teaching students, rather than focusing on the time and expense of changing school names.

If the name is to change, I would vote for Central Springfield.  This name is inclusive for everyone.  The other name I would like is Lancer High since we are “The Lancers”.

I would like to respectfully request that Lee High School not be named after a person. History has shown that no person is perfect, and regardless of who is chosen, undoubtedly people will find fault with that choice. It is impossible to please everyone, and I believe it will serve Region 3’s best interests not to rename our school after someone. Furthermore, you would be making a strong step towards solidarity and cohesiveness by naming our school after a concept, and not a person. While I would love us to be renamed Liberty High School, I am aware it’s not one of the choices. As such, I’d like to put my vote in, so to speak, for us to be renamed Legacy High School. Legacy conveys a strong future, and that is where I see this educational community headed. I am proud to be a Special Education teacher at Lee High School. I work with an amazing group of people who continuously put the needs of our students first, and I could not imagine myself teaching elsewhere. Our student body is also one of the most outstanding I have witnessed in regards to inclusiveness. The CAT B students are treated with respect and empathy, and they are always made to feel part of the Lee community. Truly, I have seen our school shine in ways that others have failed, and THAT is a legacy our school can get behind!

I graduated from Lee High School in 1997. I've always been bothered by having a traitor's name on my diploma. When you select a new name will there be any facility for former graduates to get an updated diploma? I never managed finishing college so that's the last thing I have.

The purpose of this email is to express my opinion on the name change of Robert E Lee high school. First let me start by stating that I am a native of Northern Virginia and attended K-12 public schools in Fairfax County. I attended Robert E Lee high school and graduated in 1965. During my time at Lee I had the privilege of having Jack Baumgartner as a teacher and a football coach. Mr Baumgartner was strict but fair. The life lessons that he instilled in me And thousands of other young people stay with me until this day. Being a teenager in the 60’s was difficult. There were many paths a young person could go down and I’m sure I would have taken the wrong one had it not been for the influence of Mr. Baumgartner. I’m sure that’s one reason that his students stayed in touch with him until his passing. His influence put me on the right path. I was fortunate to have graduated from ODU , serve my country in the Army and achieve an executive level position in a Fortune 500 company. I can attribute much of my success on the influence Jack Baumgartner had on me as a teen ager. Thus I respectfully submit Jack Baumgartner’s name for consideration as the new name for Robert E Lee high school. I can not think of a more deserving person.

I am writing in response to you asking for additional suggestions of names for our high school. Upon considering the current "short-list" of names I arrived at these thoughts: 

  • Ideally, the new name should be related to Virginia history 
  • This is an incredible opportunity to recognize a women of color
  • 2020 is the 100th anniversary of women gaining the right to vote  

Of the proposed list of names my favorite is Mildred Loving - but I am concerned that unfortunately, Loving High School will create situations where our students will be bullied.  If Obama High School is selected - I suggest the school be named specifically for Michelle Obama. Following a little bit of research I respectfully propose these additional names for consideration: Katherine Johnson - Mathematician/Virginian - her story is featured in the book/movie Hidden Figures. Sojourner Truth - born into slavery - she became the first know African American suffragist (not from Virginia) (https://www.womenshistory.org/education-resources/biographies/sojourner-truth). Nannie Helen Burroughs - A prominent African American educator, church leader and suffrage supporter,  devoted her life to empowering black women.  Burroughs helped establish the National Association of Colored Women in 1896 and founded the National Training School for Women and Girls in Washington, DC in 1909.  She was outspoken on issues she considered important to African American interests and wrote many articles for leading African American newspapers and magazines.  She used these articles to attack injustices endured by African Americans and encourage readers to take responsibility for changing their own conditions. (https://nmaahc.si.edu/blog-post/5-you-should-know-african-american-suffragists). Coralie Franklin Cook -  first descendant of a Monticello slave to graduate from college.  Born in Lexington, VA, she graduated from Storer College in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia.  A powerful public speaker, she became a faculty member at Howard University. (...) A leader in the Black women’s club movement, she was a founder of the National Association of Colored Women and an ardent suffragist who also moved within the inner circles of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, as she was educated, professional, and middle-class.  Cook reminded white women that they could not ignore the political rights of the less fortunate. (https://suffragistmemorial.org/african-american-women-leaders-in-the-suffrage-movement/). Janie Porter Barrett - was the president of the Virginia Federation of Colored Women’s Club. Barrett was not only dedicated to securing black women’s suffrage but also racial uplift efforts by supporting educational opportunities for African American youth. Lugenia Burns Hope - Among the most influential  Black women leaders in the South, Lugenia became one of the first African American social workers, founding the Neighborhood Union in 1908, which provided educational programming, medical care, job training, and social services to Atlanta’s Black community. She was also a founder of the Atlanta branch of the National Association of Colored Women.  She combined race and gender activism.  Hope was particularly concerned about the plight of Black female domestic workers.  An outspoken supporter of equal suffrage, she stated that the ballot “is the safeguard of the nation.”   She served as Chair of the Department of Neighborhood Works of the National Federation of Colored Women’s Clubs. 

Why not just “Lee High School”? It denotes a location consistent with the Lee District.  And avoids substantial costs of renaming things and, I think, the issues with the Robert E Lee namesake.  Central Springfield or Legacy are names to avoid, I believe – very lame.  The risk of naming it after any person seems to be the named person’s reputation may not hold up so well over time, if even only with some groups – regardless of who the person is. 

Please consider naming the school after Jhoon Rhee, regarded as the Father of American Tae Kwon Do. Rhee was a master teacher for over 50 years, and actually created National Teacher Appreciation Day in 1986. His daughter was in my English class one year, and through an oral history project, I learned that he came to the US from Korea with very little and became a success through hard work and talent. I was never his student, but grew up seeing his commercials on TV, admiring his attitude and abilities. Today I teach art to children and adults, and recognize what a skilled teacher Rhee was.

I have read in the news that Fairfax County is planning to select a new name for Robert E. Lee High School and is accepting suggestions .  I would like to suggest that the new name be Jack Baumgartner High School after a faculty member, who put more time and effort into the development of  Robert E. Lee High School  and  it's students than anyone else I know.   I attended Robert E. Lee High School from 1962 to 1966 .  Over those years Jack Baumgartner served as teacher, coach, and mentor to a great many students.  I was lucky enough to have played football when he was the head coach of the team.  He was  very tough when it came to discipline and very demanding when it came to grades and team play.   As a team,  he taught us to excel at what we did on every play.  There was no substitute for less than 100% effort.  Many of the players today will tell you that his teaching has followed them through their lives and made a great difference in them personally.  I certainly can attest to that.  Until his death a year ago, many of his Robert E. Lee High School team members from the past  50  years would meet every year for a  luncheon where we would simply enjoy his company and talk about the past.

I think the school board has a genuine opportunity to reward the school with a name that has great personal meaning to many of its current and past students.  Jack Baumgartner was there from the school's beginning and helped it develop and grow. He dedicated much of his life to achieving that goal.  I cannot think of a better name for the school than to name it after someone who actually played such an important part in its history and development.

Recommend "Central Springfield High School" for name change. I am a Springfield Resident and my children are going to Lee. The deviciveness has to stop and this is the best solution. FCPS needs to stop contributing to it.

Don’t know that my opinion will count for much,but thought that I would share….I am actually one of those that is disappointed about the name change,and believe most who actually knew who this man was through history would have possibly agreed with me. However,since this appears to be a moot point now. My suggestion for renaming would be to leave any/all peoples off of the list (as to not possibly offend anyone) I believe we should go with East Springfield high School.

My understanding is one of the original names selected for Lee HS was “Franconia Springfield High School”, and that it was changed as the result pressures within the community against integration.  I would like to encourage the board to use “Franconia Springfield HS” as the “new” name for Lee as it honors both history and FCPS’ tradition of naming high schools after the geographic areas they serve.  Much of “central” Springfield attends Annandale HS, so the “Central Springfield” moniker suggested to the Board does not accurately describe the communities from which Lee HS draws its students.

In a time of bitter partisanship such as now in our state and nation today, a return to civility and moderation is the best course to take in all affairs.  Renaming Robert E. Lee High School as Central Springfield High meets this test, so I back that proposed new name for the school. I trust the FCSB will see the virtue in putting this issue to rest while avoiding selecting one of the other proposed names which almost certainly will result in bitter feelings among all too many.  Let reason, not emotion, prevail.

I think renaming the school after Mildred Loving is a smart and relevant idea. It makes a timeless and empowering statement which will resonate with so many students and citizens. While this would still be naming the school after a person, she is not a political figure, which makes it a smart bipartisan choice. As a parent whose mixed race children will attend this school in the future, I would proudly support this name. 

Please be careful to ensure we do not confuse ranking databases that colleges use to help our children get into college due to this renaming so we don't do more harm than good with this! That said, if you do rename it I hope you rename it after a historical scientist,  Emmett Chappelle is a good example because he was an African American scientist and researcher and a recipient of 14 U.S. patents, who discovered that a particular combination of chemicals caused all living organisms to emit light. I think that sends a good message. But is it really the most productive use of time to focus on politics, general lee, his statues or what the school is called, instead of how to educate children with practical science knowledge and skills? I hope you get this rebranding done fast and focus efforts on campaigning for more funds, supplies, and things that will make a bigger difference to help our children be more competitive getting into colleges and suceeding in today's global workforce.

In my opinion, all but one of the names proposed have serious problems, so we will probably be left renaming the school Central Springfield HS. I think calling it Springfield HS or Franconia HS would be just as good or better than Central Springfield, but those names were not on the list of 6. Four of the names honor people, which is lovely, but clearly against the new trend which avoids any possible future conflicts over names. I like naming the school after President Obama or Congressman Lewis, but there are two problems with each of these choices. These people are not Virginians and it makes more sense to honor a Virginian in this manner. Additionally, they are both alive (I am happy to say) and places like schools are generally named to honor and memorialize the deceased. While Caesar Chavez is deceased, he also has no connection to Virginia. There are schools honoring him in Stockton, CA and Laveen, AZ (as well as three local schools with his name in DC and Maryland). Finally, honoring Mildred Loving is a great idea. As a native Virginian, it makes sense. But if you're going to honor Mildred Loving, isn't it remiss (as well as sexist and possibly racist) not to honor her husband as well?  Of course, naming the school Mildred and Richard Loving High School is a bit lengthy. But the real problem naming the school after the Lovings is simply their last name. Lovely as it is, I don't think my son (or most teenagers) would like to announce that they go to Loving High School. The Loving Lancers? Sounds weird. The two remaining suggestions do not honor people and are politically inoffensive, but the name Legacy HS does not say anything (to me). What is the legacy? Which leaves Central Springfield as the obvious choice from Dr. Brabrand's list, although as I said earlier, I think simply calling it Springfield HS or even Franconia HS would be more succinct.

My son is currently an elementary student in FCPS but will go to Lee when he reaches high school age.  While I don't have an issue with changing the name and fully understand why it needs to be changed, I don't think it should be renamed after ANY person.  Naming it after any person leaves the county open for another change if that person is found to be offensive at a later date, costing taxpayers like myself money we don't have to spend. Please seriously consider naming the school Central Springfield High School or even PS # (like schools in NYC are named). Finally, my only other thought is how the largest school system in Virginia, with an already strained budget, will pay for this name change along with finding funding to navigate the new normal of COVID and educating our children.  Again, I support a name change. I think changing confederate names is long overdue BUT in such a financially stressed time, my bigger concern is how children will be educated and teachers given the resources they need in a budget busting time.  To me, right now, money is more needed to ensure that our children still receive a first rate education during the pandemic.

I wish to lend my vote and support of renaming Robert E. Lee High School, Central Springfield High School. I feel naming any institution after any individual person, sets the future generations up for failure should someone feel offended about the naming. The current movements aim to suppress our history and the measure of how far we have come and how far we still have to go in order to achieve equity. All too often people want to see things in their own perception, since that’s their reality, but it’s not the reality. In this day and age, we fail to learn from history and instead focus too much on trying to write past events in a narrative we agree upon by using today’s standards. Is slavery abhorrent? Absolutely! What we’re saying by removing all traces of the civil war is that confederacy wasn’t worth remembering and neither are the sacrifices men and women, on both sides, made in the pursuit of their beliefs. We are stating, anyone that supported confederacy, their life was/is worth less than a an anti-confederacy supporter. We are in fact, suppressing how this nation became what it is today. Yes, we have a lot of work left to do, but we can’t learn from history if it doesn’t exist. We didn’t just become this law of nations, liberties and freedoms, without those willing to give the ultimate sacrifice in pursuit of their convictions. Please, teach kids about history and stop with the indoctrination that change happens overnight or based on whims.

I'm writing as a 24 year staff member of Lee High School to give my opinion on the name change.  First, let me tell you how glad I am that we've finally come to this moment.  I'm so proud of all our students and community members who have helped make this possible.  Initially, my thought was that we shouldn't name the school after another person since one never knows how that person will be looked upon in future years.  If that was our reasoning, I would choose Legacy for our new school name (The Legacy Lancers!).  Then I gave some more thought to it.  A couple of years ago, our students and staff read the book "March" by John Lewis.  He has spent his entire life fighting against systemic racism.  In my opinion, he is the absolute opposite to what the name Lee represented.  As such, I would be extremely proud to work at John Lewis High School this coming school year.

I am very grateful that our community high school will finally be changed to something to be proud of. I am a Fairfax HS Alumni and I am equally proud that Fairfax HS has finally made the full step to change the mascot from Rebels. With all of that said I wanted to offer my take and suggestion for a possible school name. First I do not feel our school should be named after any person. The list of people suggested by Dr. Brabrand are in my opinion all wonderful people who have made immense contributions to the betterment of society. However I think any person that might be chosen is likely to be met by some in our community with disapproval and disrespect. I also am not in favor of a bland generic name like Legacy or Unity or Liberty. Although those are likely not going to be controversial, they also are unlikely to inspire a sense of pride from the community. My suggestion would be simply, Springfield High School. When I tell people where I live I tell them Springfield. I don’t say Central Springfield although it is typically understood that Springfield is that. There is never confusion with West Springfield and the people I know who live in West Springfield say they live in West or maybe Western Springfield. Same goes with those who live in the neighborhood of North Springfield. In fact Springfield, which encompasses the neighborhoods surrounding our school, has been around a good deal longer than the areas that have named themselves in relation to actual Springfield. I believe Springfield is a name that those who live here feel proud of. It’s where we live. It’s a name that people know geographically. Rarely have I ever heard someone ask where Annandale HS is located, or McLean, or Herndon, or Fairfax, Chantilly, Centreville, etc. And the schools named for their location have a built in community connection even for people in the community who do not have kids who attend the school. Last year R.E.Lee HS in Staunton was renamed to Staunton HS, which made sense to me because it is located in Staunton. I realize there is a desire by many to correct the injustice of having our school named for a traitorous slave owning confederate general who lead thousands to their death for the expressed cause of sustaining the evil institution of slavery, by renaming our school for a respectable civil rights leader, specifically a person of color. It is obvious that as a society we have not only failed to honor the great men and women of color who are so deserving, but we have honored the wrong people and perpetuated the lost cause narrative. And it is my hope that as a society we will take seriously the plight of people of color in a white supremacist society and make the necessary changes that will lead to true equality. With that said I don’t think that renaming our school after another person will help in that effort. Personally I would be in favor of renaming every school in our county that is named after a person but that is another topic altogether I guess. So in short I would like to suggest Springfield High School.

To save the future hassle of changing name again, we think Lee High School should be renamed to Central Springfield. 

I feel that it is very important not to attach anyone’s name to the school building for the very reason that we are changing it now. Even though the names that have been put forth are great, someone inevitably will find offense with one of them. I think that Legacy High School would fit the model beautifully. This would allow the school to keep their school colors, mascot, scoreboards, and basketball court intact thereby saving some money on unnecessary changes. After all we have been through what is now our fourth name change since the school was built.

Names such as "Central Springfield" and "Legacy" are cop-outs designed to appease the cult of white supremacy. Few of those stating "high schools should be named after a location" had a problem with schools bearing the names of individuals when those names were of racist white men.

If you must name the school after a location, I suggest "Laurel Hill High School." Laurel Hill is not in Fairfax County, but rather Henrico County. It is significant however as it is the site of the Battle of Chaffin's Farm, a Civil War battle where 13 of our nation's first Black Medal of Honor recipients fought for their country and the unfufilled promises their country was built on. Let's go Laurel Hill Lancers!

I have two kids attending (electronically for now) Fairfax County Public Schools.  I have seen Dr. Brabrand’s recommendations for a new name and have the following comments in order of preference: 1.  Central Springfield.  Choosing this name avoids the eventual almost inevitable problems with finding out some sort of scandal with a person (any person) and having to change the name again.  This is a when, not an if. 2.  Mildred Loving.  Supreme Court case.  Good example of what we are trying to do here. 

This is a welcome decision and we support any new name of the school that is reflective of the inclusive environment that I believe FCPS supports. 

I would love to see it named for Mildred Loving.  Mildred was an eloquent Virginian who, together with her husband, tolerated racist attacks and persevered in changing the laws of the state for the benefit of the entire nation.  I think she is meritorious of having a school named for her.    My second vote would be for Barack Obama, our first Black president, whose contributions to the nation, including Obamacare, are well known.  Son of a single mother, he rose to the highest office with his intelligence, caring, charisma, and wit.  He is representative of the great American story and was able to rise in spite of great racism from his opponents. Many others are meritorious, but these two raise to the top, in my opinion.

I vote for Legacy High School. This school has been around for so many years, Legacy fits the bill best.

I would like to suggest an alternate name for Robert E Lee High School in the event the name must be changed, thus disenfranchising 50 years of alumni and community relationships dating back decades. Despite Robert E. Lee’s battlefield prowess as a brilliant tactician, his West Point education, and his leadership as a representative of Northern Virginia, it is understood that some choose to overlook these characteristics and focus on a single negative facet of his life. This is unfortunate, and fails to grasp the context within Fairfax County history and the importance of Lee’s dedication to Virginia in a time of domestic turmoil. I suggest William Joseph Donovan. A decorated veteran of World War I, Donovan is the only person to have received all four of the United States' highest awards: the Medal of Honor, the Distinguished Service Cross, the Distinguished Service Medal, and the National Security Medal.[3] He is also a recipient of the Silver Star and Purple Heart, as well as decorations from a number of other nations for his service during both World Wars.

My suggestion is that name should not be pick again under personality influence this time although they are also respectful. One of the suggestion under superintendent Brabrand offer Central Springfield is pretty confident and strong enough.  May everyone will agree to bring great input for renaming.

I think the school should be named after a woman. FCPS has 28 high schools and 3 secondary schools, none of which are named after women. At the community meeting on March 11th, I suggested Katherine Johnson High School. I think she would be an excellent candidate to rename the school after. She was an incredible mathematician who fought adversity as an African American woman in a field dominated by white men, and she played a critical role in NASA’s initial space launches. At least 31 schools in Fairfax County are named after men, and only three middle schools and two elementary schools are named after women. Please name at least one high school after a woman. 

My vote is for Barack Obama

I think Lee High School should be renamed Legacy with Central Springfield being the backup choice.  We should just get away from naming schools and places after people to the best of our ability - concepts and goals (like justice, liberty, and legacy) are good because who can’t agree to those?!? Legacy is a good choice too because anything at the school labeled “LHS” will not have to be changed; only those things that actually say “Lee.”  Given the budget shortfall FCPS is already facing due to COVID, this saves just a bit of money. 

I recommend Central Springfield HS because it is not controversial and unlikely to need to be changed.  This country is too polarized now and even names like the Congressman mentioned, or Barrack Obama, a president, hold controversy because of the allegations surrounding the investigations into Trump and his administration.  As a school, we need to avoid the controversy or else every time someone else rises to power, we will be changing names and trying to rewrite history. I agree it is time to change the name Robert E. Lee.  We as a country have moved on from what he stood for.  But, our schools should be neutral to controversy so that we can engage in controlled discussions with varying views.  That is the only way to move forward and learn from the past.

Thank you for your considerations in renaming Lee High School. I think it it best to not name it after any one person, which may have ramifications decades in the future (which is where we find ourselves today). For that reason, I think Central Springfield is the best choice.

Has FCPS considered asking the Laurel Hill School Museum if they would honor the citizens of Fairfax County by allowing us to consider the name Laurel Grove High School? 

In NO way should the HS be named after a person. Just too many controversies and who knows what future citizens will view the person years from now. When our founding father is now considered controversial, you know that ANY name chosen is going to be an issue. School should be named after a geographical feature. There had to be one in the area that can be used. We used to live in Lee HS boundary years ago, but I can’t think of the names of things anymore. If you feel you MUST name the gs after a person it should have 3 requirements. The person MUST be deceased. And MUST be a Virginian. And three, do your due diligence and scour every source for a perfect person. What isn’t offensive about them today, will be on 30 years at this rate.

Just putting in my thought and vote for Central Springfield High School (Patriots). This makes the most sense and is not now or will not be in the future controversial to any demographic group.  It ties in with the names of Hayfield, Lake Braddock, Herndon, West Springfield and truly represents This area we call home. Central Springfield Little League works for them! We must refrain from using a person of any background that has nothing to do with Springfield, VA. As for the mascot or nickname Lancers could still be used, but Patriots says a lot because this city became Popular by all the DOD personnel that moved here to be close to the Pentagon and other military and defense Firms even as civilians, but that is not as important as the actual name which Central Springfield H.S. Makes more sense than any of the others no matter what.  We have to do this right and no one person should have the final say, the community seems to have spoken Both current, alumni and future students to renaming it Central Springfield H.S. and that type of Community buy-in is the most important to this County, otherwise we become disenfranchised to the governmental process. 

Please do NOT name a school after a person EVER AGAIN.  Who knows what skeletons may be in anyone's closets.  Make the name generic and save money to schools down the line!!!  

Please add my vote for "Mildred Loving" for a new name for the current Robert E Lee High School.  My second option would be Barack Obama HS.

I am a product of FCPS and I have been teaching in the county for 27 years, so essentially I have spent majority of my life in FCPS. Recently FCPS published large list of school names that would possibly need to be changed.  As a teacher, who feels that the FCPS teachers have been basically forgotten, dumped on, and lied to, I am very concerned about the amount of money required to change a school name, especially in a high school.  FCPS teachers are poorly paid, cannot comfortably live in a safe area in Fairfax county because of poor pay but yet we are spending close to a million dollars changing a school name.    Next, the community will want other school names changed.  Who pays the money for the uniforms for band, sports, activities?  My suggest is to change the name to Springfield Lancers.  Hopefully this will reduce cost that will be incurred with all the new uniforms the county will have to buy. 

So you spend taxpayer school system. money to change names on schools to another Person’s name that might offend someone. Why don’t you choose generic names instead?  Also, If the cost comes out of our county taxes, then the decision should be on the ballot in November and voted on by the citizens of Fairfax  County.  We saw what the SB decided for Justice HS after the public voted, By choosing what they wanted anyway.  That was very disappointing after a democratic process took place and we voted to keep just Stuart. Hoping you do the proper thing this time.

As the father of three graduates of Robert E. Lee HS, I support the name change.   I propose the new name to be "Belote High School" (or "Melissa Belote High School").    Melissa, a graduate of R.E. Lee HS (1974?), was a member of the 1972 and 1976 US Olympic swimming team. In 1972, she won THREE Gold Medals in swimming and broke several World Records in the process!  Students at "Belote HS" would have one of their own to look up to and emulate; a real world example of application and self discipline resulting in outstanding achievement.  The name would inspire many students to say to themselves "If she could reach the top, I can too."    A cautionary comment if I might. The popular nominations cited in the Region 3 email are worthy folk, but they are either still alive or politically controversial. This is a time in our national history when any such name change should have a unifying effect, not a dividing one. The name selectors need to appreciate that the USA has real enemies in this world who will go to great lengths to take us down. Inducing division amongst our citizenry is an inexpensive yet highly effective way to weaken the national strength.

I believe that at this time in our history, we must be very deliberate and not to repeat the same controversial history as before.  It is important to realize that naming a school after anyone will eventually become controversial. Based on the names that have already been proposed,  I am in favor of renaming the referenced school to either Legacy High School or Central Springfield High School. Each school should dedicate a library or a museum within the school that houses all legacy and historical items. 

All people have made mistakes in their lives. Some are quite serious, and no one can know how their lives will be judged by future generations. The best thing one can do to ensure that the new name for Robert E Lee High School doesn't need to be changed a second time is to not name the school after a person at all. If the school is named after an individual or group, there is bound to be problems. Even naming the school Franconia High School could have some people upset because some of the Franks were anti-Semites. The solution: name the school something generic and neutral, yet uplifting. I would recommend choosing a name that represents something from the natural world or an undisputed value of the community. Choose a name that inspires its students. Something like Harmony High School or Resilience High School or Sunrise High School would all work. It's pretty hard to get upset about any of these words. Stay positive and stay generic.

As a leader of education, philanthropy, and global humanitarian efforts, the late great Grandmaster Jhoon Rhee is deserving of an educational platform within our DMV community.  Specifically within your county, Jhoon Rhee Institutes have been providing leadership and academic prowess through the practice of martial arts philosophy for over 50 years.  It would be an honor and quite historical to be the 1st academic school in the country to pay homage and respect this global leader.  He has given so much of his dedication and commitment to our government leaders, professional athletes, motivational speakers, and local communities while always serving our children.  He is a timeless icon whose reputation is unparalleled. There are over 100,000+ Black Belts in the world that have received this accomplishment from Grandmaster Jhoon Rhee.  They continue to live through his daily practices of: Lead By Example, Might For Right, Born to Be Happy and Free, 7 Qualities of a Champion, 4 Daily Affirmations. As one of these students, I have had the honor to obtain many accolades such as being an International Martial Arts Champion, Architect for Cisco Systems building Video Collaboration Networks, training celebrities, and partaking in Hollywood projects.  However, the most important accomplishment has been traveling to the former Soviet Union with Grandmaster Jhoon Rhee to perform alongside him as he opened 65 schools and united a divided country with our American National Anthems through Martial Arts Ballet.  

This is the least we can do to celebrate his life.  He has been responsible for providing discipline and commitment values for generations within Fairfax County.  It is our obligation to give back to his legacy and having each one of your future leaders be proud of what they represent. 

As a graduate of Robert E. Lee High School I am excited by the announcement of the name change.  While I think the Superintendent's recommendations all have merit, I think it would be more meaningful to rename the school after someone of more local importance.  For consideration I would like to suggest renaming the school after James "Jimmy" Adamouski.  A graduate of Lee, Jimmy was the first Virginian to die in the Iraq War.  The link to a Washington Post article details his heroism and the traits that all students should reach for. https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/politics/2003/04/08/a-family-mourns-what-might-have-been/936f25ec-7ef7-499c-a2d0-6d6d920c8b09/

If you are to rename Robert E Lee High, I feel you should not change it to someone else’s name.  Please be neutral and non-political.

In an effort to show that FCPS is inclusive of all students as well as it's community members, Central Springfield or another name that does not single out an individual seems to me to be the best choice.

Please use fiscal prudence and  concentrate your money on important Return to School education expenses. Remove the portrait of the General Lee in confederate uniform from the lobby and RENAME Lee HS back to its original name of Lee HS.  I am a Lee Lancer graduate of 1978. I have always been embarrassed that they added the R.E. part to the name. The school was originally named after the Lee District and the District was named after the revolutionary heroes from the Lee family that shaped Northern Virginia. Many in my family have Lee as their middle name from this area. Let that be the proud historical legacy. If you do decide that you have to absolutely name the school going forward, please name it after something important like “Legacy” or “Liberty” and NOT after a person.

My understanding of the history in naming R.E. Lee HS is— It opened in September 1958 and was named Lee High School because it was located in Lee District which is named after Light-Horse Harry Lee, an officer of the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War and former Governor of Virginia (not Robert E. Lee). It was renamed Robert E. Lee High School in 1964 during the Civil Rights Issues in the 1960’s. Kind of looks like it was renamed just for spite. If this is the case it should be renamed. My suggestion is using the geographic area for names so we’re not in this naming situation again. Just going back to the original name of Lee High School probably won’t bode too well in the current climate. Therefore, using the geographic area, my suggestion is Springfield HS, Central Springfield HS , or even Franconia HS as it is really located more in the Franconia area than Springfield.

DO NOT NAME SCHOOL AFTER AN INDIVIDUAL! As Abraham Lincoln allegedly said: You can please all of the people some of the time!   Some of the people all of the time! But NOT all of the people all of the time! I doubt that many students even knew who Lee was until it was pointed out to them, and even then, I doubt that few cared!  I'm a retired Army Officer from NH and I could care less what a school's name is. But changing names to please folks is costly and of little use long term.  There are more important things for people to be concerned with and the county certainly doesn't need to be wasting money in these times! Take up a collection from those who favor renaming things and when they have contributed enough to cover the full cost, then "have at it!" Therefore, if you are going to rename the school, name it after a location!

Every since I heard the story of Mary Bowser, I am DYING for something IMPORTANT to be named after her. And for the students to KNOW about her. She was a former slave. She was educated. She was a spy that went BACK into slavery to spy on Jefferson Davis' household and her bravery and intelligence played a huge role in taking down the confederacy. She never got the credit she deserved. She symbolizes many of the females that did so much work to resist and never got their names in the history books. She lived in Virginia. Here's the story: https://gimletmedia.com/shows/uncivil/39hw6e/the-ring

As I said, it would be wise to NOT name the school for a person.  For example, it doesn't seem worthy when you mention the name John Lewis and you have to clarify parenthetically that he was or is a U.S. Congressman.  I have absolutely no idea who Mildred Loving is.  Cesar Chavez? A controversial labor organizer?  Please.  Sorry, but people so honored ought to be widely known and appreciated with enduring honor and respect. Also, with a "neutral" name like Central Springfield High School, they could retain their mascot "Lancers."

We should no longer name a school after a person.  In 100 years, this person could be judged differently or new information could make it a bad choice.  Central Springfield sounds safe. Perhaps we should change the name of Fairfax County while discussions are opening up.

While I agree that the school should be renamed, I strongly urge research of those suggested or better yet go with a location name or something less political. Ceaser Chávez IS NOT someone a school should be named after...extreme leftist and borderline communist in such a strong military community would be creating more political divide not unifying. While I seriously doubt you would have riots we’ve experienced lately, it does nothing to help heal the community. Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglas, George Washington Carver, Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Sally Ride, Guinn Stewart Buford Jr., or Ben Carson are all great options!!  If you don’t know who these individuals are, do some research!! PLEASE, due research and think of unifying not adding to the divide that is in our country today!! 

Graduated from Lee. Nikola Tesla - improved more lives in USA and world wide than school board suggested. You have approved Edison. Milton Friedman -  American freemarket economist. Medal of Honor After reading the stories of heros on their database, I could NOT pick just one to honor. So name is to honor all Medal of Honor recepients.

In this divisive era, introducing names such as these do nothing to unite the county. We can either continue down the road, taking different forks based on labels until we're all alone in the wilderness, or we can find common ground that unites us as One Fairfax. My hope is for the latter.

I imagine you have received many suggestions for names to change out Robert E Lee's name from the high school with that name, but I think there is one you probably have not considered. Consider Ernst von Vegesack, or some derivative thereof, to name the school. Born in Sweden, he travelled to the US with the explicit purpose of fighting in the civil war on the Union side, and through that action is a good example of what has made this country great: People coming from outside to give their all in an effort to make their own and the entire world better. Better yet, he was a part of major battles all over Virginia and was awarded the Medal of Honor for bravery against general Lee himself, in the battle of Gaines' Mill. He was also awarded the brevet rank of Brigadier General here, and returned to Sweden retiring from the Swedish Army as a Major General. It is easy to argue he would be a good person to lend his name to a school in Virginia. It is fair to assume he came here to help end slavery, and he did it so well he was awarded the Medal of Honor. He also spent a very large part of his time in the US in this very state. I learnt about him in a railway museum in Gävle, Sweden, but it turns out someone put together a rather detailed wikipedia article about him. It tallies well with what I learnt at the museum, has good source indexing, and is of course available for your study too: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ernst_von_Vegesack  It would seemingly be fitting with a name from the same period, and one in opposition to Lee at that. Choosing a name from that period also has the benefit of reducing the risk that something surfaces which makes a new name suddenly less appropriate. This risk is more obvious with still living persons.  These are my thoughts on the topic, I hope you found them interesting. Come fall I have three kids in the FCPS system, and the reason I am partial to von Vegesack is that we are Swedish. No relation to von Vegesack, I might add. 

I’d like to put forth two name suggestions for Lee High School: Jasper High School (or William Jasper High School) or Laurel Grove High School. Here is the local history behind those names:  In the early 1880s, former slaves organized a congregation and held church services near a grove of laurel on Beulah Road. The trustees, including Middleton Braxton, George Carroll, Thornton Gray, and William Jasper, were focused on educating the children of the congregation. In 1881, Georgianna and William Jasper, a former slave of William Hayward Foote of Hayfield Plantation, deeded one-half acre from his thirteen acre farm to the segregated Virginia School System for $10.00. The school served the community until 1932. In 1884, the Jaspers deeded another half acre for construction of a sanctuary next to the school.  History of Laurel Grove School. “The enthusiasm and pride of the colored teachers, parents, and the African American community prevailed against the resistance and harassment of the county’s white residents. Laurel Grove students remember closing the shutters of their school to prevent rocks from breaking windows. Yet, in this segregated school, without the facilities and supplies, Laurel Grove students learned geography without maps and competed successfully with their peers in colored fairs. A few followed the example of teachers, earning certificates to educate new generations of children in the county’s segregated public schools. ” (Submitted on April 21, 2009, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.)  It’s a story of perseverance for education and learning above all else. Something we should all remember and strive for throughout our lifetimes of learning and personal growth as both individuals and as a community. 

I believe Central Springfield makes the most sense for a new name for Lee HS. It goes with the county-wide pattern of location names for high schools.

I suggest re-naming the school with a location name - I am new to this region so I am not as familiar with what location name should be used. 

Just wondered if anyone had considered Harper Lee High. Still has the connection to Lee, but in a more progressive civil rights way; the book To Kill A Mockingbird is still part of the curriculum. It would make an interesting history lesson. Looks like Justice High may win-- a theme in TKAM.

Although my feelings regarding the name change are that it is petty and useless, I would recommend the new name be acceptable to ALL of the community...since we are doing that. I don’t agree with several of the names suggested by Superintendent Brabrand. The only ones that seems logical and the least offensive are ‘Mildred Loving’, ‘Cesar Chavez’ or ‘Central Springfield’. These are the least politically based names suggested. The two persons actual made changes, helped minorities and brought attention to actual, real, possibly overlooked injustices. Even better to go with a very general name in Central Springfield. It would be unfair to go to a school where you despise or have no respect for the person the school is named after, right? Isn’t that what this name change is about?

I’d like to add Harper Lee to the list for consideration in the renaming of RE Lee HS. As you most likely know Harper Lee is the author of the novel “To Kill a Mockingbird” a classic novel about racial justice. It would be a great compromise for those who want to keep the tradition of the Lee name. Most aren’t that attached to the R.E.. It would most likely be a cost savings as well in that you wouldn’t have to go through a full re-branding. Sounds like a win-win for all!

I vote for Spike Lee. 

As a 1991 graduate of R.E. Lee in Springfield, I would like to weigh in the name change for my high school. As requested, I will give you a few suggestions and why: Central Springfield - Quick, easy and no controversy. Nikola Tesla - Rival of Thomas Edison, immigrant, and inventor. James Adamouski - 1991 Graduate of Lee, 1995 West Point Graduate killed in combat in 2003.

As a local citizen, my vote is to rename the high school “Central Springfield”. There most likely wouldn’t be a need to rename the school in the future if basing the name on its location, rather than re-naming the school after a person.

Please, please, please do not go from one name to another. It makes absolutely no sense to change the name of the school to another person’s name. If there is so much conflict with a person’s behavior that we have to remove their name, we should not replace them with another person whose behavior could be determined to be equally questionable down the line. We are human and humans are not perfect. Who’s to say that years from now we won’t have people complaining about the person who’s name it’s changed to when it’s determined that person wasn’t perfect.  Please change the name to Central Springfield, or maybe even Franconia High School.  I’m so so tired of this battle. We would be much better served to ensure that students at Lee (or whatever name it’s changing to) are getting the same level of resources as the other FFX County schools in the area.  I’m most concerned that my children receive an equal level of education to those at West Springfield, Braddock and Robinson. The expense and time spent on this name change could and should be used instead to get these students in parity with students at these other schools. Perception is Lee is inferior - why is no one focused on that?

In light of the School Board's decision to rename Lee High School, I wish to suggest that the County consider naming the school after Judge Marcus Williams. Judge Williams was the first African-American member of the Fairfax Circuit Court bench.  If the school is to be renamed after a person, then it seems most appropriate to select a person with substantial ties to Fairfax County and is selected because of that person's example of character and accomplishment.   

How about spending our resources on actually educating children about who Robert E. Lee was and what he means to Virginia history?  Spending money on changing names to pander to violent mobs is never wise.  We are already being ripped off enough with a two day a week school season. The Fairfax County Public School system is a complete dysfunctional failure on all counts.

I am thrilled that FCPS is going to change the name of Robert E Lee HS. May I suggest Ibram X Kendi, he is a former student and a phenomenal professor, academic and writer. 

I would love to see more women represented. There are many in our history.

To prevent future calls for name change and to stay in line with West Springfield HS ; Central Springfield HS would be a logical and proper chose.

I vote for Legacy or Central—no more names of people to be criticized down the road. And please keep the blue and gold as well as Lancers as those have nothing to do with the man, Robert E Lee and will keep costs down.

It has been suggested but going with “Frontier HS” is safe.  Using a political figure and/or proper name, will always create a platform for people to be offended.  

I think it would be best if the county no longer names any school after an individual. The process of changing the names has caused discord, and has been both time consuming and expensive. If you dig deep enough on any person, you may find something that is offensive to others. It might be a better practice to name schools after an area.

Why not just call the school Lee High School and take the Robert E out? To totally change the name is way over the top.  Scott Brabrand’s suggestions have nothing to do with Springfield other than Central Springfield.

Under no circumstances should the school renamed for the most corrupt president this country ever had.  Barrack Obama was a fraud and did absolutely nothing for this country.

I recommend choosing one of the two names for Robert E. Lee High school: Legacy or Central Springfield. Neither are representative of one political party or viewpoint, nor are these words tied to hot-bed social issues as are the names below. And I might add, only one name below has a direct connection to the state of VA. Using Legacy or Central Springfield also eliminates the risk of change again, if future generations deem the people, their actions, or their views unacceptable.  I say NO to choosing the following names: John Lewis, Barack Obama, Mildred Loving, Cesar Chavez.

I graduated from Lee high school in 86.  My brothers, from 70s to 90s, cousins in 2000s.  As former student and minority, I would like to say: I'm proud of the name and the 4 years I was there.  I had many good and some bad memories.  Still I would not change a thing! If you are going to rename the Lee High school that has been around 60yrs. I favored that you don't play favoritism and name the school after another human.  A generic School name such as "Central springfield High School" would be forward thinking and good compromise. Otherwise, You may learned in the distance future that you have named the high school after a criminal.   Then, it will be another uproar yet again and it would have to be rename.  Do you want to go there again? No human is perfect.  I recently read that MLK was a rapist.  Why isn't his name and monument coming down?!

I love your nominations! John Lewis seems particularly appropriate but any of the honorees would be great.

I graduated from Robert E. Lee High School in 1984 and did my younger brother in 1992 and we have lived in the area for almost 40 years.  Changing the name should not be necessary as history is history and we cannot go back in change events that happened.  The events happening now should not affect history and we should be able to move forward.  If we need to change the name then I think it would be changed to the suggestion below or North Springfield High to go along with West Springfield High. Central Springfield High would be the most accurate and appropriate name moving forward.

For the record I strongly disagree with the decision to rename the school, based on the minority of the minority of people who are speaking on behalf of an even smaller number of people that are still provided the same education as everyone else. I feel this is a political move, of those afraid to do what’s right. Since it appears you’d rather not listen to The majority of alumni both current and present to form your decisions, I feel this will also fall on deaf ears. However if we are to vote for a new name, I strongly disagree with every name suggested on the list that came out of the recent school board meeting with only one exception. Central Springfield. 
This way alumni could at least say they attended Robert E Lee high school like it says on our diplomas our letter jackets and our yearbooks, and simply add the tagline “in Central Springfield” Since you were swinging the pendulum far past the center mark, please consider this the closest thing to a fair compromise.

 

I graduated from Lee in June 1960, in the first class to graduate. Just want to keep things simple here, first of all, the students went by the name of Lee.  So, you want to waste the our good tax money to change a name, maybe half a million to maybe $1 million or more.  But the more I read about the name change, it sounds like you're trying to get on the same bandwagon as the Marxist in this country along with Antifa and what's next if you don't like someone's last name.  My 7 brother's and sister's grew up in Fairfax County, we lived in Groveton, Bush Hill, Rose Hill, Franconia, Burke and Springfield. Our mom just liked to move around.   So you just want to get rid of a name and destroy part of our history.  It reminds me of the 1920's to1940 when another name burnt books in Germany, Adolf Hitler.  Just don't end up shooting yourselves in the foot.   I see why folks are moving here from Fairfax County to the Shenandoah Valley.  In leaving , I want to let you all know this... myself, brothers and sisters all retired before our 55th birthday and NEVER asked for any handouts..5 of us graduated from Va Tech, Radford, West Va, and Drake....and that tells you something we all went to Lee or as your board says a Confederate General R E Lee and we all worked our way thru college.

I would like to voice my opinion regarding the renaming of Lee High School. As a parent of an upcoming freshman at Lee High school and with 2 more children on the way there the following year I think the families and the Lee pyramid community should have a vote and voice on the school's renaming.  I know that 80% of our school is made up of minority students but that 20 % still counts and carries a lot of the GPA of that school.  With our mixed community Lee District has flourished and improved over the past few years. I am an advocate for my children and their education and we have always had issues with this triangle and I'm tired of fighting for our triangle to be equal with the other districts in the county.  We have really smart students that don't always get the same programs and better educational advantages.  The same with the renaming of this school. If Fairfax County is going to be politically correct in their renaming decision it really needs to consider not being racially, culturally, and ethnically discriminating.  In all fairness for the county and the school the renaming should not be named after a person.  All it will do is cause more discrimination matters between the communities and the students that go there.  I do feel the name should be changed from Lee to a neutral name such as one of the choices "central".  It is appropriate in proximity to downtown Springfield.  It keeps race and culture out of the limelight and can be a standard that keeps the Springfield community name involved.  I would think that we could get better funding or backing from more of our community bushiness district than if we were to name it after a person.  It keeps our mixed community neutral and proud to be apart of our town and high school. The other issue is the renaming of our pyramid from Lee district to ?? Personally, I think that Central fits better with a renaming of our pyramid as well, than using a persons name.  The schools mascot can still stay the same and they can be known as the Central Springfield Lancers or  the Lancers of Central Springfield which flows nicely. I hope that you will take these thoughts and suggestions into account.  Let's keep our county and school out of the news and make our citizens proud. 

As a 2007 Lee High School graduate, I am so happy to hear that the name will finally be changed. The racist message behind the name has never matched the diverse, powerful student body. I appreciate the name suggestions, and I would like to put my support behind one in particular: John Lewis High School. John Lewis is not only an impressive civil rights leader, but also an incredible example for students to realize their power to create change. As a student himself, he joined the front lines of the civil rights movement and continues to encourage students to get into “good trouble.” As a current educator, teaching our students to do what is right in the face of adversity is more important than any academic content. On a practical note, Lewis High School would allow the school to keep any LHS signs, uniforms, etc. I know that costs have traditionally been cited as a barrier to name changes, and this option would cut down on financial burdens.

Great news that FCPS is responding to the community's concerns about the name of a Confederate Officer's name on a public institution.  I am writing to express my concern about the names that were offered as replacements.  While John Lewis and Barrack Obama are great Americans, I don't think that naming anything after a living individual is a good idea.  Their record is not final and both are controversial.    While Mildred Loving was party to a critical lawsuit that corrected a serious injustice, her total contributions do not rise to the level of naming a school in her honor.  I am most puzzled by the suggestion to name a school after a controversial figure like Cesear Chavez.  A quick scan of his wikipedia page includes the phrase, "A controversial figure..."  Why in a time like this would we even consider someone who would lead to more controversy.  I would be curious what legacy we are intending to celebrate with the name "Legacy."  Given the legacy of Robert E. Lee, I am not sure that the name meets the intent of changing the name.  To minimize controversy and not appear to favor any single group, I recommend Central Springfield High School.  Any other option will only create more controversy.

First, kudos...as an FCPS alum (from '86), I'm surprised it's taken this long. That being said, the process that was done to rename J.E.B. Stuart was absurd.  The School Board went through the motions and pretended to involve the community, but in the end, ignored the public and went with their own name. I only hope that this isn't a repeat of that process and that you actually take public input into consideration when deciding on the final name. One overall suggestion:  Don't name any schools after people, name them after locations.  McLean, Herndon, Lake Braddock and West Springfield all immediately denote what area of the county the school represents.  Edison, Thomas Jefferson or Justice do not.  (That being said, whoever decided on "South County" should be taken out back and given what-for -- it might as well have been named FCPS HS-12.)

It’s unfortunate that society just can’t accept history, learn from the good and bad and move forward.  I’m disappointed that FCPS is being motivated by the current political environment changing names of schools and the state in removing statutes associated with our history, these actions will never change the real issues with social injustice.  This wasted spending could be directed toward needed education within the schools toward the real issues of social injustice. I hope that FCPS will avoid renaming the school after any individual(s), it will eventually offend someone.  Keep it generic and name the school Central Springfield HS.

You should definitely change the name, and this should've been done years ago. My suggestions would be: Ann McCarthy High School (named after a Revolutionary War fundraiser), Carrie Crouch High School (named after a local Black educator), Marion Galland High School (named after the first woman to serve in Virginia House of Delegates), Margaret Brent HIgh School (named after the first female lawyer in America, and first to seek the right to vote).

I recommend that when selecting a name, keep the first letter L so that some of the logos will not have to be redesigned and placed, and also will go along with the Lancer mascot name. Is the school board considering renaming the name of their school district ? 

Please please please, do not change the name of Lee HS to Obama HS. Lee was a confederate traitor to the USA who killed and terrorized millions. Why should his name be erased just to be replaced with Obama - a war criminal who used drones to kill thousands of innocent civilians. I can assure you, no one who died under Obama's term thought "thank goodness he was black! it was great to die at the hands of progress!" Just because he was the first Black president, his war crimes are not absolved!  Loving HS would be good.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!! I went to Lee in 1995 and was embarrassed to tell anyone the name of my high school. Thank you for FINALLY righting this wrong!! I would like to put in my vote to name it for Mildred Loving. She’s the only Virginian and woman on the suggestions list, and deserves to be well known for her bravery in the face of systemic repression and danger. She made possible the lives and freedom of millions of mixed race people by just standing up for love. What an awesome way to motivate students to care for each other.

I have lived in Fairfax county (Springfield area) for some time now after retiring from the government.  I chose this area, because it is a good place to raise my 7 year old son.  He currently attends Saratoga Elementary School and is doing well.  When I purchased my home, I was under no illusions as to the political affiliation of this area of Virginia.  However, it now appears to me that this county has drifted so far to the left that we are now discussing the destruction of our monuments and getting rid of the names of our former politicians and historical figures in an apparent attempt to change Virginia history.  Every time that I see and hear these types of events, I realize that our country is slowly drifting further and further toward another civil war.  To rename a high school after other even more controversial political figures will no doubt cause further consternation and is really non-sensical.  The only way to avoid further hatred and political turmoil is to rename Lee High to "Central Springfield High School".  I simply cannot and will not allow my son to attend a High School after figures that I do not respect.  I know that conservative people are now the minority in the United States, but I fought for this country and served my country many years in foreign countries, so I know where these types of events lead to.  If you must change the name of this school, please do not rename it with other derisive figures and simply keep it non-offensive like Central Springfield so that everyone can feel comfortable. 

The school should NOT be named for a person.  It would immediately create a difference of opinion on that person's deserving of the honor.  You should also acknowledge that it's hard to tell when somebody is going to find something wrong in the honoree's past that will prompt a radical reaction and require another reconsideration of the name. CENTRAL SPRINGFIELD HIGH SCHOOL should be a fine alternative and will not generate any severe emotion, either now or in the future.

I’m a former student at Robert E Lee. I started in September 1962 and graduated in June of 1965. Those years were wonderful. I was fortunate to have been able to play football there for four years and had as my Coach, Jack Baumgardner.  The intent of my letter is to ask that the school be named after him. He was more than a Coach to those of us who played for him, he was a mentor and a father figure. He was honorable and adoring of his players. He led by example and always expected the best from his players and students. He was more than a Coach; He was a teacher, counselor, administrator, and friend.  The members of our team got together regularly for the past 50 years to celebrate our time together. He never changed and always remembered everyone. His sense of humor was contagious. I could tell you stories of him helping some of the less fortunate students, male and female, when they needed support and understanding. Whether it was early in the morning when he would help the custodial staff open the school, or late in the evening when someone would need his council. Like the time he knew one student was sleeping in the baseball dugout because he was having difficulty at home. He encouraged him with advice and love. He could also be a tough in situations that required it. Nobody got a free pass.

We renamed it once - from Lee to Robert E. Lee.   Another change for a new time and a new generation is in order. How about a geographic name? One alumnus suggested Central Springfield HS.  Sounds good to me.

I've read about the proposed name change, and am for it.  Lee grad, '86, by the way.  Robert E. Lee had nothing in particular to do with Springfield, so away he can go. However, I don't see a Springfield connection in all but one of Superintendent Braband's suggestions. John Lewis - Georgian. Barak Obama - Illinois. Mildred Loving (closer!) - Middle Peninsula. Cesar Chavez - California. Legacy - uh... if we're renaming high schools after concepts instead of people now, why not change ALL of the county's high school names? Central Springfield - bland, but about Springfield. Also noted - these name suggestions don't reflect the school's current demographic makeup. Only one Hispanic suggestion? No Asian suggestions? I think that the race factor can be defused if we focus on people associated with Springfield. There are two famous people who actually visited Springfield that we could name the school for: Prince Charles and Lady Diana. They went to the JC Penny's in Springfield Mall in 1986. Do not ask me why. I didn't go. Lee was a ghost town that day. I make this suggestion with tongue firmly in cheek. However, we do have a Springfield native who achieved fame but has become virtually forgotten: Melissa Belote. (Who? Exactly. Google her). She's alive, but so are others on the list. I think that success in sports transcends race, don't you? Hopefully, knowing about her can inspire other Springfield natives to strive for greatness as well.

I encourage you to change Robert E Lee HS to Mildred Loving high school so that we can work towards making a place where Virginia is for all lovers, and they can have the mascot of the Valentines!

Although I feel all this is unnecessary, especially during these times. I vote for Legacy HS as the new name for the school.

I disagree with the renaming of the school completely and feel you are showing you care more what a few think then what is best. Use the money for the students this is a waste of funds.  If you must rename please be considerate of all your students, I would vote for Legacy or Central Springfield. If you choose an African American or activist you are asking to have to rename again when the pendulum swings the other way.

As a 1963 graduate of Lee H.S. I was appalled when following the Martin Luther King  march on Washington that the name of the school was changed to Robert E. Lee H.S. It is now time to correct this Jim Crow travesty and rename the school with a name that is inclusive and not divisive.

Put it back to the name I graduated under. Call it Lee High School.

Once again, please consider James England High School.  He was a major contributor to the positive history of the school. If not the name above, I would recommend East Springfield High School.

I've heard there will be a name change for Robert E. Lee High School. I seem to recall that the school was originally named Lee High School after the Lee District and only later changed to Robert E. Lee. My suggestion would be to change the name back to Lee High School.

I’m a 1967 graduate and longtime resident of Springfield.  If you must rename my beloved school I vote for “Springfield High School” or if not that, then “Central Springfield High School.”  I agree not to name it after a person. It will always be Lee High School to me, whatever you name it.

I would like to recommend the name Central Springfield H.S. or Springfield H.S. for the  renaming of RE Lee HS. It saddens me that the name will be changed. But, since it is, I recommend NOT using a person's name going forward. The H.S. is located in Springfield so in fairness to ALL...let's stay away from trying to find ANOTHER person to name it after. After all, if you look into ANY person's life you will find things that don't measure up to what all of society deems worthy. You will not make everyone happy. In future years you may find THAT person has failed in some way in the eyes of someone or some group and you will find yourself back at the renaming game.  

Please don't use a person name. It will only cause more issues. Please use Central Springfield if you have to change it. 

As a resident of Fairfax County late of the area served by Lee HS (now South County HS), I support honoring the Lovings, both Mildred and Richard. Loving HS reflects their being the plaintiffs in Loving v Virginia, a landmark Supreme Court decision that changed society for the better.  The Court issued a unanimous decision in the Lovings' favor and overturned their convictions under the Virginia Racial Integrity Act of 1924. The decision struck down Virginia's anti-miscegenation law and ended all race-based legal restrictions on marriage in the US. Virginia had argued that its law was not a violation of the Equal Protection Clause because the punishment was the same regardless of the offender's race, and thus it "equally burdened" both whites and non-whites. The Court found that the law nonetheless violated the Equal Protection Clause because it was based solely on "distinctions drawn according to race" and outlawed conduct—namely, getting married—that was otherwise generally accepted and which citizens were free to do. As a result, anti-miscegenation laws in Virginia and 15 other states were struck down. It was cited as precedent in U.S. federal court decisions holding restrictions on same-sex marriage in the US unconstitutional, including in the 2015 Supreme Court decision Obergefell v Hodges. On a personal note, I have benefited from that ruling in that the anti-miscegenation laws of Missouri where my wife and I married nine years after the ruling and Florida where we also lived were among those states affected. While some would argue a neutral name like Legacy or Central would appease a certain segment of our population, Loving would serve as an acknowledgement of a shameful past which has been corrected and a future with greater possibilities. 

I was pleased to hear that y'all have decided that Robert E. Lee High School needs to be renamed, and I've seen some of the suggestions.  Personally, I prefer a name that is politically neutral, not attached to a person, and one that has some association to the area, or at least the state, but I leave the precise choice to the school board--though I'm particularly glad you are getting opinions from current students as well as opinionated alumni. That said, if it is deemed necessary to name the school for a person, one possibility I haven't seen is to take a page from what they do in Germany, where they do not celebrate Nazi generals but rather commemorate the persecuted.  As such, someone enslaved by Lee and his family might be a good candidate, such as Wesley Norris, whose story can be found here.  Since people won't know his story, that could lead naturally to an exhibit in the school lobby that would examine the historical Robert E. Lee (including his accomplishments), the glorification of Lee as part of the "lost cause" narrative, the history of desegregation and "white flight" in northern Virginia as backdrop to the building and naming of the school, and the circumstances of the renaming (including the opposition of many alumni of my vintage and earlier).  In a sense, naming the school for Norris could help close that circle.

I believe that the best new name that we could pickfor Lee High School would be Barack Obama High School.  I am 57, and he was by far the best President we have had in my lifetime. In addition, choosing an African American who reached the highest office in the land would be a counterweight to having for so long used the name of a traitor to our country who fought against the freedom of African Americans.

I am a homeowner in the Saratoga neighborhood of Fairfax County, which falls within the boundaries of Robert E. Lee High School.  My suggestion for renaming the school would be to use a geographical indicator rather than the name of a specific person.  Specifically, I would suggest naming the school after one of the nearby waterways: 1.) Accotink High School 2.) Backlick Run High School 3.) Cameron Run High School 4.) Pohick High School

After some additional contemplation, I feel that Dr Brabrand's recommendation's for a new name are extremely prejudicial by only suggesting individuals who are African-American and primarily rated to civil rights issues.  Again only one of those individuals had any ties to the State of Virginia. In reviewing Virginia's historical figures, it seems to me that there are numerous better options.  Some of those individuals include:  Admiral Richard E. Byrd, Booker T. Washington, Patrick Henry, Henry Clay, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, Arthur Ashe and numerous others who have made significant contributions to the State and Nation.  Memorializing individuals only based on civil rights issues, does not adequately represent the entire student population of Robert E. Lee High School and could offend non-minority students just as much as Robert E. Lee may offend minority students. I believe that the School Board must consider a larger and longer view than simply the current political situation today.  They need to do what is right and just for the school student population and the community itself rather than do what is is considered "politically correct" today.

As a 1981 graduate, I’d like to submit the following comments in support of Central Springfield High School.  I have many fond memories of growing up in Springfield and I’m sure those who live there now feel the same.  As a child I recall doing the Springfield circuit with my parents that included Giant Food, Springfield Pharmacy, Fisher’s Hardware, Citgo gas station, Northern Virginia Bank, Trailside Baseball Park, Accotink Park, McDonald’s.  The circuit also included attending many events at Robert E. Lee High School.  As I grew into my teenage years, I continued to frequent those places, but my friends and I exercised the freedom that our cars provided by exploring West Springfield, Franconia, Route 1, and even DC on occasion.  Throughout those years and as one who’s always tended to be a history buff, I was familiar with many of the names in the local area and the history of those names from multiple perspectives.  Those names did not personally offend me because I only viewed them as nothing more than historical, but to others, then and now these many years later, the symbolism continues to cause pain and division.  Therefore, in the most basic terms, it’s probably time for a change. Knowing a change will be coming, I believe moving forward with the most unifying option is probably the best approach for our current time.  I believe everyone in and around the current Robert E. Lee school district, both current and former residents, can take pride in knowing We Are Central Springfield.  Central Springfield is where it all started for that immediate area and it expanded out to other areas like West Springfield.  Central Springfield is the home of Central Springfield Little League that produced many great little league baseball teams along with a myriad of other athletic teams.  Central Springfield is where Springfield Mall was constructed in the early 1970’s and it has changed and evolved over the years into a thriving little metropolis.  Central Springfield is at the crossroads of one of the busiest interstate exchanges in the country that eventually produced “the mixing bowl” which in my estimation is almost a modern wonder.  The modern day Springfield is not necessarily “old Springfield” and that’s fine.  We collectively should take pride in the history and progress of Central Springfield without attaching a name to the energetic heartbeat of the area which is the school.  For the nearly two thousand students, faculty and staff that attend or work at the school each year, they should take pride in knowing that we are not Franconia, we are not North Springfield, and we are not West Springfield.  We ARE CENTRAL SPRINGFIELD HIGH SCHOOL.

As a native of Springfield, Virginia who graduated from RE Lee HS in the 70's , I would support the name change to Central Springfield HS.

I am a parent of twin girls currently enrolled in the Advance Academic Program (AAP) at Springfield Estates. We live in the same district as Robert E. Lee High School. I understand that the School Board has decided to rename the High School. I would like to formally offer my comment and request that the Board consider additional names for the school, particularly names that a) coincide with Governor Northam’s initiative to support Science Technology Engineering Math (STEM), b) promote a positive role model for students, and c) represent the Asian and Pacific Islander community, which makes up 22 percent of Springfield’s population (per US Census) and 20 percent of the FCPS student body (per the FCPS website). Northern Virginia is generally and casually known as the “East Coast Silicon Valley”. The Technology Corridor that touches Tysons Corner to Leesburg continues to expand with high visibility companies and tech start-ups operating and setting up shop in the neighborhood. Our governor has recognized the contributions of STEM to the state’s image, and our universities continue to build partnerships with members of the STEM industry. It is obvious that our area is investing heavily in STEM. Women are still underrepresented in STEM careers. FCPS is instrumental in changing this path. Our girls need opportunities and encouragement, and while AAP provides an excellent introduction to STEM, we need to up the tempo and infuse positive and STEM-supporting messages wherever possible. One way to do so is through school identification, particularly since developing and securing a positive self-identity is important to high schoolers. The simple act of wearing school spirit gear can exude pride. Because not everyone can attend Thomas Jefferson (Science and Technology), why not provide Springfield students with a school identity that will trigger some curiosity about the school name, consider possibilities based on the story behind the school name, and present an opportunity to boost student morale once the story is known.

My husband is an alumni of Lee High school. I feel that it is time to stop naming schools after people, especially ones who have no ties to that area.  Save the school boards of the future the cost of renaming a school again. Central Springfield is the best option. A lot of the high schools in Fairfax County are named based on their location. 

No names.  In the current politically charged environment, all names will be divisive, particularly the 4 that have percolated to the top. 

Since we are renaming schools due to differences in policy beliefs of political figures, let’s not rename it with another person’s name. FCPS is just creating the same problem by renaming it after another person. 

I was very happy to hear of the name change for Robert E. Lee High School. I am a graduate of the high school and wish to again add my two cents on the naming. Please lets not name it after any human being. Certainly there are some good individuals that have been named, ones that I personally am proud of however we need to mend the divide at this point. Naming the school after its location is best so that it's factual and there isn't anything to argue over. I personally like Central Springfield but anything similar would work. I am truly shocked at the opposition as well as having concerns about threats. Let's just all calm down and choose a name that's not emotionally charged and go with something benign such as the location. 

I have 3 kids who graduated from Lee, & I worked in the library all 4 years that my youngest was in school there. I was a sports announcer for girls’ soccer, went to all track meets, cross country meets, varsity football games, & had many friends among Lee teachers, the library staff, & administrative staff. So I really care about the Lee HS tradition. My vote is for Legacy HS. It’s upbeat, positive, & forward looking. I think Central Springfield is degrading, negative, & it doesn’t give the school its own special recognition. It seems more like a spinoff of West Springfield, & the school shouldn’t be defined that way. Stop naming places after people. All people have flaws that might ruffle someone's feathers, it could be tomorrow or 100 years from now, who knows. 

It has come to my attention that Fairfax County is in the process of renaming its public school buildings.  This is a fine idea.  I do have one request.  Do not rename any building after another person!  I don’t care what political leanings you or others have, and it doesn’t matter what political, or what you may think are apolitical leanings the name you would use have.  Naming a public school after a person is a bad idea.  I think we can all agree.  Please use a word that is straightforward and non-threatening such as Lakeview, Tall Oaks, Freedom, United.  I hope you understand my point.  Now is a time for unity, take advantage.

I would humbly propose that the school be renamed “William Lee High School”. If you are unaware, William “Billy” Lee was a slave of George Washington, but a rather unusual one and, perhaps, an unusual person. William Lee was Washington’s valet, huntsman, and confidant, serving alongside the general for the entire Revolutionary War. An avid fox hunter, Washington assigned the vital duties of managing the hunting dogs and organizing hunts to one of his most trusted slaves: William Lee.  In his role as “huntsman”, Lee needed to be an expert horseman and, by several contemporary accounts, he certainly was.  Washington’s step-grandson—George Washington Parke Custis—wrote of Lee’s strong physique and utter fearlessness in leading his mount at full speed through undergrowth in circumstances when others would hesitate. Lee accompanied Washington on all his journeys, including trips to the House of Burgesses in Williamsburg, survey expeditions in the Ohio Valley, and to attend the First Continental Congress in Philadelphia in 1774. During the Revolutionary War, Lee was Washington’s closest aide, servant, and—perhaps—confidant.  According to Jessie MacLeod, the Associate Curator at Mount Vernon, Lee was given the trusted and delicate task of maintaining Washington’s personal papers.  This certainly indicates Washington’s trust of Lee, considering the general’s lifelong and almost fanatical obsession with keeping and maintaining his personal correspondence and notes. MacLeod has suggested that Lee’s long and close proximity to the general may have been a significant factor in the deep change of opinion that Washington underwent regarding slavery and the humanity of those enslaved.  After the war, Washington never again bought or sold slaves and avoided separating enslaved families.  After his presidency, Washington provided Lee with an annual and generous allowance. In his will, Washington freed all his slaves, but with the provision that arrangements first be made to avoid separating family members.  Lee was the only slave cited in Washington’s will that was to be freed immediately. Although no official portrait of William Lee was ever painted, he is almost without question the individual seen to the side or background in numerous portraits depicting Washington during the war. 

I purpose the name change from Robert E. Lee High School to Central Springfield.  This name represents community and togetherness. Let's please stay away from all names because of the demographics they represent.  John Lewis is a American politician and civil rights leader.  Barack Obama is an American politician and attorney.  Mildred Loving was an activist in the civil rights movement.  Cesar Chavez was a civil rights activist.  Legacy is anything handed down from the past.  If their name is being changed because someone is offended, then someone or group could find any of the previous names offensive.  And we would be back at square one. These all seem like we would like to stay in the past.  Let's move into the future with a name that is community. Based on the given choices,  I feel Central Springfield would be the best option because we all need community now and in the future. This name is a fair and equal name for all people no matter what gender, race, political agenda or civil rights activist you associate yourself with. 

Your over the edge we will not have a country left after renaming and riots destroying our history. What next a  few people will rewrite history. What next censorship of books. Then tell teachers what the  curriculum will be taught. Going to rewrite history. With no history how will it be taught. How will we learn from past mistakes. A few people making changes for all of history. Who gives you the right? I will not Vote for any of you. Who knows  you might find me in one of your closed doors meetings. I belong to  couple of big organizations and I will be bringing to their attention your evil doings. Remember the family members of Robert E Lee  how they will feel while you speak of how others feel.  all the evil doings of destroying our country. Great people died on both sides. You self righteous do gooders.

I reject any new name of our high school that reflects a person living or dead. Our school and our community are not tied to an individual no matter how noteworthy. WE are Lee. To name our school after an individual does nothing but exalt that named person. We are a community of families supporting each other and we will continue to be so. We are not the followers of a cultural icon. Therefore the only acceptable names from Dr. Brabrand’s list below would be Legacy or Central Springfield.

Congratulations for getting to this point where monuments to those who tooks arms against the US are going to longer be.  Jhoon Rhee is recognized as the Father of American Tae Kwon Do, In 1980, he instituted a policy that all Black Belts in grade school had to make As and Bs. This policy is standard in most martial arts schools nationwide. As an Asian American immigrant he loved his adopted Country, his heros were the Founding Fathers of the Constitution. He was recognized as one of George Bush's "1000 Points of Light". For over 4 decades offered free lessons to members of Congress and Senate. He chaired the 4th of July Parade in 1982. submit the name of Jhoon Rhee.

As a graduate of Lee HS (Class of 81) I am really disheartened by the animosity being built up on both sides of this recommendation.  If the County votes that the name be changed then I would recommend "Central Springfield", as this keeps with the traditional naming of this school.  It was named after the District in which it was built. As for all the back and forth arguments surrounding this renaming, keeping "people's names" out of the naming process would be essential, as someone down the line will take offence and demand, again, to change the name. Again, I am not happy that people can't view history for what it is worth, a learning tool, and move forward to more important topics.  The fact that a slight few have set their sights on renaming this school is not only rewriting history, it erases the learning from the past that today's immature minds have yet to understand. 

"I pledge allegiance, to the flag...with liberty and justice for all."  I'll say it again, "with liberty and justice for all."  With our hand on our heart, that was the way we began our school days from the first grade at Lynbrook Elementary to my graduation day at Robert E. Lee. The good ol days!  In the summertime in the 1960's my family spent many a happy day at Glen Echo Amusement Park in Maryland.  I can still sing for the the radio jingle for Glen Echo. So there was Springfield with Robert E. Lee High and in the next town was Jeb Stuart High and a bit further down was Stonewall Jackson High.  Toward the other side of town was Jefferson Davis Highway.  I thought nothing of this.  No one made a big deal about it.  It was even celebrated on occasion.  My parents were not concerned and neither were my friends parents.  After all, I myself am the great-grandson of a Confederate veteran.  If the state and county sanctioned this, naming schools and streets after Confederate veterans, it had to be OK, right?  Then I became aware of Glen Echo.  It turns out Glen Echo was a segregated park.  "What?  That kind of stuff only happened in Mississippi and Alabama!"  It was true.  I never knew.  But then, my eyes and my heart opened. How could this be?  We were all aware of the civil rights movement, with the asassinations and the riots and burning buildings in DC and all around the country.  We even competed against TC Williams High School in sports, against the exact players depicted in the Denzel Washington movie.  I tried to imagine.  What if I were a minority living in America, and every day in my town I had to pass by a monument to someone or something that did not stand for "liberty and justice for all?"  Especially when the left out people were people like me. Robert E. Lee I was taught, and many people will tell you today, that he was not keen on slavery (even though his family and the family he married into owned many) and that he could not bring himself to take up arms against his Virginia home.  I will tell you this was a bad decision.  The Confederacy did not help Virginia or the South at all, unless you were very rich.  The economic system of slavery took job opportunities and income out of the pockets of free white Virginians.  I think of my 16 year old great-grandfather, a Confederate soldier, and wonder what he thought he was fighting for.  It surely was nothing that was in his interest, or in the interest of the vast majority of Virginians. I hope we will re-name the school  I hope we name it after someone who stood for "Liberty and Justice for All." Someone like Susan B. Anthony or Rosa Parks would make me proud to be a Lancer again.

As a Fairfax County tax payer and life long resident of Fairfax County, I am not in support of changing the names of the schools due to the high cost that yields no measurable benefit.   It is unacceptable that FCPS cries poor-mouth every year, claiming they do not have the money to pay for the teachers and they do not have the money to buy supplies for the students and teachers. And, recently, FCPS failed miserably on implementing their COOP Plan to continue operating and educating our students during the pandemic even after spending millions of dollars on a system that failed to work and the employees that failed to do their job (were they fired?).  You are required to be fiscally responsible with the tax payers’ money, and you have earned a failing grade on this responsibility. Now, FCPS wants to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to change the name of another school, and there will likely be more.  This will cost us - the tax payers - hundreds of thousands of dollars to change EACH SCHOOL NAME due to the costs associated with attorneys to legally change the name, updates to countless applications/systems and web pages, change physical names in multiple locations within the school grounds and buildings, letterhead, business cards, etc.  Let’s not forget the overhead costs of the staff hours and board members working on this task. My question to you is:  Does the cost yield a measurable benefit to County constituents, or is this simply another political gesture to placate the crowd that actually results in no resolution to the problem?  So my vote is:  Leave it as Robert E. Lee High School and quit wasting the tax payers money. 

I would be interested in having the last name start with L, so our old letter jackets still work at homecomings, and the mascot still be the Lancer, since that was always a knight, not related to Lee. My 3 choices in ascending order are: 1) Mildred Loving  2) John Lewis  3) Legacy. Just not Central Springfield, please - that's too long for cheerleaders to spell out.  Also, please keep the blue and gold school colors, for the alumni' sake.

I am not sure why you are finding the need to change our schools names along with other schools names. Are you planning on canceling history as a subject in Fairfax County Schools? The names that you have come up with on the site are ridiculous. Naming our school Obama would be the worst choice possible.  Because as soon as Trump wins again and the house and senate are ran by Republicans Obama will be in prison.  Then Fairfax county will have a problem of renaming the school again.  So why don’t we stick with Lee Lancers or really maybe not change it at all because this is our true history. It is a shame that you and many others are being controlled as puppets from these extreme leftist. These people are anti-Americans and hate our Great Country! Our country is acting like a 3rd world country and quite an embarrassment.  We are a Americans and we should be proud of our history!  I know I am! 

I am writing regarding the name change of Robert E. Lee HS. I attended Fairfax County Public Schools as did both of my children. I support the name change of Robert E. Lee HS.  I believe the time has come that if the name of a school is going to be changed that it should no longer take on the name of a person. At some point in time, there is always a possibility that cultural and societal changes will dictate that what once was acceptable no longer may be and as inconceivable as it may seem, an honored person and his/her history will become the "whipping post". In order to avoid such time-consuming, passionate, and expensive debates, perhaps less controversial choices should be made. Just like Justice HS was selected for J.E.B. Stuart HS, Legacy HS works well as the new name for Lee HS. I think the "L" is a silent nod to the school's history, too, just as the "J" in Justice is for J.E.B. Stuart. 

I would like to suggest the name of Pride High School named after Charley Pride, a black pioneer of country western music.

I graduated from “Lee High school” as we always called it, in 1975.  I am not racist, and like many fellow Lancers, I am from a military family that lived all over the world, amongst many different ethnicities and cultures and taught us better.  I have no problem with Confederate statues being removed and put in a museum, and I believe the Confederate flag should not be flown. But the massive name changing of schools, streets, and who knows what’s next has got to be stopped. Lord Fairfax, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson owned slaves!  Much of the world did during the USA’s early years. Are we going to change the names of counties, towns and rivers? Are we going to destroy all the landmarks of our forefathers? The only way to erase racism is by having open, thoughtful conversation, and teaching it in school history classes. I will admit that while I was an honors student at Lee, the history was glossed over.  So, it looks like the decision has been made to change the name entirely, not even reverting back to the original “Lee High school”.  I’d ask that you listen to the former students.  Most of the names suggested have no meaning to the alumni or to Springfield. Except for one name, none of the people suggested has ever lived in Virginia.  I would like you to consider in order:  Jack Baumgartner, Sr.- opened the school in 1958 and was coach and Vice-Principal until he retired in 1983. The ultimate family man, he gave up the chance to play pro football because his heart was with kids and coaching. There is nothing dishonorable that can be said about him. He was the rock that kept many kids from harm and truancy. William Jackson- the principal at Lee for many years. A very cheerful, capable and kind man, who just passed away last week. Many teachers flowed him to Robinson when he moved there, they enjoyed working with him so much. 
 

I am a 1990 graduate of Robert E. Lee High School in Philadelphia. Now I am a Catholic priest working in Philadelphia. I would like to give my input on the name change. First and foremost I would be highly offended if the school name was changed to Barrack Obama. I consider him a highly divisive figure. I am particular offended that he supported abortion on demand and did not protect unborn black lives. I know many African American Catholics who feel the same way. I would suggest you not choose any recent politician for the new name, this would be highly divisive. I would suggest it could be name after Pocahontas. She represented a connection to the "people of the first nation", the forgotten peoples in Virgina and to Christianity as she embrace Christianity and some English ways under the name, "Rebecca Rolfe".

I am a 1986 graduate from Lee, both of my parents also graduated from Lee. I hate that is has become necessary to rename the school at all, but please do not name it after a person again, that would just be stupid and unfair. Central Springfield High would be the most accurate and appropriate name moving forward. 

I am a former graduate of Robert E. Lee High School (2011), and lived across from LHS most of my childhood. I am very happy that FCPS is finally taking the steps to change the name of LHS, as it does not represent the diversity of our school, but instead, revisits a time of hatred and hurt in history.  Therefore, I would like to put in my support to change the name to John Lewis High School or Mildred Loving High School. As a Black woman and result of an interracial marriage by my grandparents in the 1950s, I believe that both names represent times and people who were brave, outspoken and fighting for justice in a time where their lives were at risk. I believe that these names would be a great representation for our school, and remove the negative and dark history that Robert. E. Lee represents. In choosing Lewis HS or Loving HS, we could also ensure that our Lancers mascot stays true. 

As for suggestions, I would prefer to stay away with people as I feel like we can be in the same situation in the future, and definitely not any political figures.  If it has to be a person, I prefer an educational leader, teacher, and such. 

Since it is now acceptable to change the name of schools named in honor of Confederate Generals (at great cost to the good taxpayers in Fairfax County) I was wondering when the county is going to change its name. History shows Lord Thomas Fairfax as one of the most prominent slave holders in the history of the Commonwealth.  Not only did Lord Fairfax own thousands of slaves to work his plantations, he enthusiastically participated in slave trade for the purpose of (and this comes directly from Wikipedia) "bedding down with a negro wench." So to sum up: Thomas Fairfax, for whom Fairfax County is named; a)  owned thousands of slaves b)  traded slaves c)  had sex with his slaves. When will you be asking the public for suggestions to rename Fairfax County?

If the school becomes Barack Obama, the mascot can be Olympians. If it’s Legacy, please let the mascot remain Lancers. Save money.

While the nominee are important -I do not see the connection to Springfield or my High School. I loved my school and my classmates. Please consider honoring us and Coach Jack Baumgartner.

Since you are renaming Robert E. Lee High School in Springfield Va. I propose you change the name to Jack Baumgartner High School. I graduated from Lee High in 1973 and was many who adored and respected Mr. Baumgartner for his Leadership and love of us.

My great grandfather fought in the CIvil War on the Union side, was wounded and treated at the hospital in Baltimore and returned to the war.  But I am against changing names, removing statues or in any way changing history.   If you are going to change Robert E. Lee High School then the  name should be a name that will not be changed when a newer generation decides the person you wanted to honor is not worthy.  As most of the schools in FCPS system are named after the area or thing in which they are located, it would make better sense to name it Central Springfield.  The community would be more accepting to a neutral name and the debate over who is a more deserving individual would be quelled. 

It is the Fairfax County School board, alone, which should feel the shame of the name with which it saddled the school and alumni in 1964. Before 1964 Lee High School was simply Lee High School, and named for the Lee District of Fairfax County.  Lee District was not named for Robert E. Lee, but for Virginia’s Lee families. The 1963 Lee High yearbook is embossed with a shield with the words “Verias et scientia” which translates “Bravery and knowledge” and the 1964 yearbook is embossed with a shield with the words “Robert E. Lee High School, Springfield, Virginia.”  Is the Fairfax County School Board proud of that change they forced upon the students of the class of 1964? It was the Fairfax County School board, which alone,  changed the name to Robert E. Lee High School, and it alone should be ashamed, not the current students or alumni of the esteemed high school.   Lee District has a glorious and treasured history. Lee District includes Bush Hill ES. Clermont ES. Crestwood ES. Edison HS. Forestdale ES. Fort Hunt ES. Franconia ES. Garfield ES. Groveton ES. Hayfield ES. Hayfield SS. Hybla Valley ES. Island Creek ES. Key MS. Lane ES. Lee HS. Lynbrook ES. Mount Eagle ES. Mount Vernon Woods ES. Riverside ES. Rose Hill ES. Springfield Estates ES. Twain MS as well as others.  The name Lee should not held in contempt due to the actions of one person who happened to have the surname of Lee.  Robert E. Lee brought disfavor to the name Lee by fighting for the Confederacy, but his actions do not lessen the contributions of others of the Lee name.  Major-General Henry Lee III (January 29, 1756 – March 25, 1818) was an early American Patriot and politician. He served as the ninth Governor of Virginia and as the Virginia Representative to the United States Congress. Lee's service during the American Revolution as a cavalry officer in the Continental Army earned him the nickname by which he is best known, "Light-Horse Harry".  William Lee (1750–1828), also known as Billy or Will Lee, was an African-American slave who was owned by George Washington and served as his personal assistant and the only one of Washington's slaves freed immediately by Washington in his will. Because he served by Washington's side throughout the American Revolutionary War and was sometimes depicted next to Washington in paintings, Lee was one of the most publicized African Americans of his time. The name Lee are honored Virginia family names and should be retained not for the rascal Robert E. but for the honorable Lee families of Virginia of Major General Henry Lee III and William Lee. The high school should have its name rolled back to what it was in 1964, “Lee high School” in honor of the Lee District of Fairfax County Virginia and in honor of the families of the Virginia slave William Lee and of Major-General Henry Lee III.  To do anything less would be nothing more than disparagement of Virginia’s slaves and its revolutionary war heroes.  It is time for the Fairfax County School Board to undo it’s misstep of 1964 and reinstate the name of the school to Lee High School for the Lee District of Fairfax County to honor the honorable Virginia Lee family names.

Make it a non-political Lee by removing the Robert E. If you give it another political name, that will likely become politically incorrect in the future. I have no connection with the school.  I used to live in Annandale.   I graduated from McKinley {no first name} High School in DC. Lee High School - So the Fairfax County School Board plans to give a different name to the Robert E. Lee High School, proposing several politically-correct possibilities.  (WashTimes 6/25/20)  I say that would be offensive to many who consider Lee to be just a school name, not a political statement.  There is a simpler solution:  Remove the “Robert E.” and retain the “Lee.”  My dictionary lists nine well-known Americans named Lee.  The school then would honor none, some, or all of them, as one wishes.  Long live Lee High School.

I hope the board understands the name as well as the mascot should change, and maybe even the school colors. I think it is important there be a 100% change overall or it would really seem like a “half step.” The school environment should reflect a real change, something the students and community can actually feel. We don’t need any Lee leftovers lingering, specifically the mascot.  

The name should remain Robert E. Lee High School. Think about the people that graduated from Robert E. Lee over the years. Just because the millennials wanting to change history. You cannot change history. They must not have anything to do with their time but to doing ridiculous things like messing with History and wanting to rename something. The cost that it will take for this name change could go for paying teachers more and supporting school activities.

I don’t believe renaming the school with those who have done less for our country is the right route to take. Have you considered Harriett Tubman? Condoleeza Rice? Colin Powell? Justice Anthony Scalia?

I grew up in Fairfax County. I attended so many schools here in the 80s including: Churchill Road Elementary (where my step mom taught), Cunningham Park Elementary, Thoreau Intermediate, James Madison HS, Herndon HS (where I graduated in 1990). Regarding the name change of Lee High School, I would like to suggest the name Lucretia Mott High School. Lucretia Mott is well known and very respected in the Quaker Community. She was one of the women considered when they were going to put women on the money to replace Andrew Jackson. She was a strong woman mentally and worked very hard to let Quakers know it was wrong to have slaves. She went tirelessly to Quaker Meetings and spoke about this issues to convince them slavery was wrong.  Many, many Quakers butted heads with her. She became one of the key folks in the Underground Railroad, as did many Quakers. I hope you will consider Lucretia Mott as one of the names for the school. 

I am a Fairfax County resident and a graduate of Lee HS, and I would like to take this opportunity to submit name recommendations for the school.  Although I can appreciate wanting to honor any number of historically significant figures, the current mascot - the Lancer (a knight) - has value in what it stands for as well. To that end, a name reflecting those values could easily be chosen and the mascot could remain the same. Name recommendations include: Lancer High School, Honor High School, Liberty High School, Integrity High School. I'm sure there are an abundance of others that would also be suitable.

I think it’s about time to change the name of the school. My daughter wrote an article while she was senior at the school, that was three years a go. The article was about the need for changing the school name. I think everything has its own time. We, as a family, are glad to see that change to come, even our younger son currently attending the school and will be graduating under the new school name. All the recommendations for the new school name are perfect but if we have to peak one we would peak Legacy, because the name goes with Lancers (as in Legacy Lancers) and might need less money to change the color and banner too,  it also has honorable meaning that will make the name permanently associated with the school. We thank all those people who sacrifice their time and money for this great thing to come.

I was a 1963 grad. Please consider naming my school after Coach Jack Baumgartner. Please make this decision with some MEANING. Not many like making a decision at all...but if we must  our new name should make us PROUD. I live in Decatur, Alabama and I still am in contact with many grads and those still living in and around Springfield.Please do not Forget about us...we still care.

Firstly, I am so happy that the school board has finally decided to change the name of this high school. The whole premise of how the name of this schools name came around and the time it was name is finally changing and that is a huge step in the right direction for an ever changing world! I am writing this email with my two cents for what the new name should be.  Mildred Loving / Loving High School: I think this would be amazing! Mildred Loving was born in Virginia, and she and her husband married when the high school itself was receiving its original name of Lee; so that alone would show a turning of a new leaf. Moreover, this would be a step in the right direction in ensuring that more of our states and countries history in how BIPOC were treated and their history alone in our country is actually taught. Plus, it would highlight that if you fight for justice and what is right, that many one no matter your race or sex, can love another human being. Plus, they can still be the Lancers. Springfield High School: I understand wanting to name it ‘Central Springfield High’ due to its location and all, but it was there before West Springfield High School, so it should, in reality, be the proprietor or the namesake and any other school in the area that come from it, ie West Springfield, adds on a geographical location. Also, by not adding on a geographical location, you can keep the Lancers as their mascot, and it will not make it confusing in the future if another high school in the Springfield area needs to be built. Either name it after the Lovings, or just name it Springfield High: with the options the Superintendent gave, ONLY the Lovings made sense. Yes Obama was our first black President, but he is from Chicago, the Lovings are from Virginia. Let’s highlight all the great BIPOC / Women we have here in our own state or people in our state who did great things with no controversies attached to them, then, once we don’t have anyone else not history to learn about, should we branch out. Let’s start local/regional/state with what we name our schools, teach the future of FCPS that we have people worthy in our own state and area who did amazing things to get a place of education named after them. And if you don’t think we do, then just name it after that community, location, or hay (and yes, I do mean hay). I hope that you take my thoughts into considerations when you vote on a name.  Please do not listen to all the hate and backlash changing the name is getting; just like Justice High received.  You know, we know, and those who are sending hate will soon learn, that this is something that should have changed years, if not decades, ago.  So thank you for doing this, I hope the name that is picked is picked for a good reason and that it is taught and cherished. 

I am not in favor of changing the name of Robert E. Lee High School.

You people have gone MAD!  Rewriting History does nothing for race relations - it only placates the minority. I pray someone will at least come up with better ideas for names than the ones mentioned. God Bless America!!

1st let me say I think renaming the school is totally ridiculous. Now in saying that.  Since it has been decided and the name is being changed I'm against renaming after another person.  We are going to run into the same problem.  Regardless of the name you pick it is going to offend someone which I think is what you are trying to avoid. That being said I would recommend naming it.  East Springfield,  Legacy, or simply Springfield!!!!! Legacy would make the most the most since the school could keep their mascots and colors!!!

As a graduate of the school in 1964 I am sorry for the renaming.  However I do think the renaming should NOT be named after a person, that will certainly make some people angry no matter what you choose. Lee was the first school in the area and all the kids in the area went there when it opened,  (from West Springfield-where I lived- to Rose Hill area) I think it should just be called SPRINGFIELD HIGH SCHOOL.(not Central Springfield-that is dumb)  No one can be "offended" in this offended time.  Also no graduate of Lee would be upset with that name.

Mr. Brabrand’s decision to rename Robert E. Lee high school has caused mixed emotions for myself. Why were the suggested replacement names, relating to a person of significance, for the school all in relation to a non white citizen? The schools districts  decision, whatever has or will be decided, makes me question if it’s more of a name change to have black Americans impose their will on I and my fellow white Americans.

As a Robert E. Lee HS Alumni, Class of 1976, it’s extremely disheartening that a name change vote was passed 12-0.  If you insist on changing my HS name, then while you’re at it, why not change the name of Lee District and Fairfax County? NEW SCHOOL NAME:  Jack Baumgartner, Sr. High School. Many other Alumni have also sent in a vote for the above man; he changed many a high schoolers lives and cared for each and every student...

1. Harriet Tubman High. Self explanatory. Arguably the most accomplished and badass woman in American history. From nearby Maryland. 2. Henrietta Lacks HS. Virginia native whose immortal HeLa cell line is responsible for 11,000 individual patents including the polio vaccine, HIV research, and gene mapping. Over 50 million metric tons of her cells have been grown for research. 3. Mary Jackson HS. Va native whose life as a NASA engineer was chronicled in Hidden Figures. Took a demotion to become an EEO supervisor and increase opportunities for females and minorities at NASA.  4. Katherine Johnson HS. West Va native and longtime Va resident whose life as a NASA scientist was chronicled in Hidden Figures. Her work in orbital mechanics helped the US catch up to the Soviets and she continued her work for 35 years. It should be noted that I am a resident of West Springfield. Not a threat, just pointing out I’m not some random person from anywhere.

Barack Obama High School should be the new name.  President Obama was the best President we have had in my lifetime, and I am 56.  We should have something named after him in every town in America.

I completely understand the desire to rename the school.  Times change and so do values. I understand that one of the names under consideration is Barack Obama.  Please do not change the name to this.  Barack Obama is/was a smoker.  I find smoking to be extremely offensive.  Naming the school after a smoker would serve as a constant reminder to me about the glorification of smoking.  I would hate to spend the money and energy on a renaming effort from one offensive person to another.

Please consider Jack Baumgartner for the new name. I started Lee High School 1958 when he did...no one deserves it more.

Please do not change the name to the name of someone else who may not be universally admired.  We don't need to offend anyone!  How about Magnolia or Cardinal (it is the state bird!).

Legacy High School is a powerful and tremendous name. Simply put, these kids and the community have started their legacy with the promotion of change and equality. I am so happy and moved by what our youth are doing.

I am a Robert E. Lee High School alum and still live in Springfield.  Please explain why Robert E. Lee High School cannot be changed back to Lee High School?  If the Robert E. Lee Rec Center can be changed to Lee Rec Center and we’re still going to live in Lee District, it only makes sense. If we’re determined to change the school’s name to something other than Lee HS, please do not name it after another person, including naming the school after a past principal, educator, coach, counselor, etc.  There is always something to be found that will offend someone or it may stir up past events that are best left alone.  hat said, if I have to choose one of the other names, my vote goes to:  1st) Legacy HS (as long as they get to keep Lancers as their mascot — Legacy Lancers), and 2) Central Springfield HS.

As a Springfield naitive, (born here and have lived here for 36 years), current resident, and a Lee High School graduate, it saddens me that the decision has been made to change the school's name.  However, if it must be changed, Central Springfield would be the best and most obvious choice.  My children will be attending this very school in a few short years, and Central Springfield High School would be most preferred.

As an American Citizen and a person that grew up on the welfare with barely any food to eat as a child, I think this decision is absolutely freaking ____!!! What is it going to accomplish by erasing history? Just a repeat of some of our worst times. I completely object to this change and I am the epitome of poor white American.  However I have White, Black, Asian, Spanish, Polish, and Arab in my family! This has got to stop, and it is ludicrous that you would even entertain this atrocity. 

My name is Celine (Cece) Doan-Ha. I am an FCPS student who attends Fairfax High School, and I’m emailing your team on behalf of my friends & peers who attend Robert E. Lee high school. I believe FCPS should refrain from renaming Lee to Barack Obama High School. The reason being is, each and every president in history has caused harm to another country or even his own country. This is very controversial. Obama has been neglected by his own citizens in the past. Although, it may be an honor for him, his family, his supporters, etc. there are still some students and (possibly) their families in the area who don’t support his past actions. Obama has caused many lost lives in the Middle East when they were bombed by us. Lee High has already received a lot of backlash from their own students and community because the name is by a confederate man who did not support black lives. The last thing I want is for my friends who attend Lee is to walk through those doors to receive more backlash because they were renamed to Barack Obama High School. As many people in the community has suggested (including myself), I stand with them when I suggest you guys should really consider renaming the school to a local place. Refrain from symbols as they can be controversial as well to many students who come from small countries or take it differently. I suggest Franconia High School because it is simple and it’s where the school is located. It’s a local place. It is also shorter than Central Springfield High School. Please consider my suggestion amongst others and refrain from public figures and symbols. 

I'm an alum.. If Lee is out, why not name the school after an "anti Lee" nobody can debate??  The list you have is all liberal, except one, and there will be lots of debates.   If you want to honor someone, pick someone nobody can object to... My suggestion is Lincoln.  He's the perfect anti Lee, unobjectionable, and a giant of American history. If you don't like Lincoln, any variation of  Springfield high is a great choice.

As a former graduate of this school, I understand that it is being renamed. I respectfully request that you do Not name it after a person.  As we see today, naming buildings after people can become controversial. It is best not to go this direction so that a rename will not be required in the future.

To avoid having to change the name again in case one of the names proposed has some kind of issue or it then becomes politically incorrect for the school to have their name, I vote for Central Springfield high school. That would align with West Springfield and just be simpler.

I would love to see the name changed from R E Lee to Mildred Loving High School, a woman of color from Virginia.

If you must change the name, I recommend Central Springfield. All the other name will just cause more divisiveness in the community.

As we all know the renaming will not make everyone happy.  I propose choosing a generic name,( not naming  the school after a person) or naming after the area where the highschool is located.(examples, Annandale or Centerville seem to be acceptable)  

On behalf of my two daughters, who are graduates of Lee H.S., I wish to recommend two replacement names for your consideration.  East Springfield High School - new name for academic/athletic teams:  Trojans. Anne Abernathy High School** new name for academic/athletic teams:  Olympians.

I hereby nominate Mr. Jack Baumgartner to be the replacement nominee  of the present Robert E. Lee High School. I am a graduate of R. E. Lee H.S. Class of 1968. Mr. Baumgartner was a respected teacher and coach during my four years on campus. He was a man of great character.

I recommend changing Lee High School to William Lee High School after George Washington's slave and personal assistant.  

Who will get to vote for the new name for the current Lee high school?  Will the current Lee triangle families have a say so?  Will the triangle pyramid be renamed as well or will it still be called lee pyramid? We are part of the pyramid and my children go to the high school. I honestly feel that it should not have a name attached because anything you choose will be controversial and will offend someone.  Keeping it a neutral school name such as central Springfield would not cause racism or discrimination against any culture or race.  Just like west Springfield.

I urge you to select a geographic name to replace Robert E Lee, such as Central Springfield High School or Franconia-Springfield High School. Naming schools for notable people is a nice gesture, but our population is multi-ethnic, so choosing an appropriate name is difficult.

Personally, I would vote to leave the school’s current name in place. However, if it MUST be replaced (by revisionists), it better be a benign name like “Central Springfield High School.”

I propose a name change to Jack Baumgartner HS. He was my football coach in the early 60’s and later an administrator. He was a positive impact on thousands of students including me. 

Recommend renaming the school “Steven Paul Jobs High School”. He changed the world! For the better! Fantastic  inspiration for high school students!

I write to express my gratitude with the school board for their recent action in removing the name of Robert E. Lee from Lee High School. While I did not attend Lee, I am a proud product of Fairfax County Public Schools, and my father Fred graduated from Lee and coached and taught there for several years. Many people more learned and eloquent than I am have expressed why this name change was a decision whose time has come - not to mention those who are harmed in a deep and personal manner by the indignity of seeing Lee’s name grace a school in the county they call home. Suffice it to say, it is and has always been utterly wrong to have a school named after a man who led a rebellion to keep an entire race of people in bondage. I commend the school board for taking action to undo this injustice. While the superintendent has suggested some good options for a new name, I wish to make a brief argument for two names which have been suggested by members of the public, but are not on the list that the superintendent released. I believe they would be keeping with the spirit of turning over a new leaf from the name of Lee, and also have connection to the state and community. The first is that of George Henry Thomas. Thomas was a general during the Civil War who in many ways was the anti-Lee. Although born into a slaveholding family in Virginia, historians indicate that he was influenced at a young age by Nat Turner’s Rebellion to view slavery as the barbaric institution that it was, and to reject the myth of the benevolent master. When war broke out, rather than betray his country like so many Virginians, Thomas remained loyal at great personal cost, as his family disowned him for his actions. He commanded two major Union victories at Chickamauga and Nashville, and was widely loved by his men. After the war, he destroyed his personal papers and declined to write memoirs, which has prevented him in many ways from achieving the honors he deserves. His name adorning the school would be a fitting and appropriate way to pay homage to a truly loyal Virginian who made the right choice, even when it was difficult. The second name is Army Captain James Adamouski. Jimmy graduated from Lee, and my dad taught and coached him. He was the first West Point graduate, and the first Fairfax County resident to be killed in Iraq. I never met him, but by all accounts of the men he served with, his family, and those who knew him, which are available on his Arlington Cemetery webpage, he was a wonderful man, and an example of great integrity. My dad would frequently talk about him with his future students, and would always make the point that he was “the most popular kid in school - and it was all because he was a really, really good person.” Naming the school after an alumnus of such character would also send the right message, and would allow future students at the school to be inspired by the example he set. I apologize for the length of this email, but I hope you take these comments into consideration. This is a difficult decision to make about which almost everyone in the county has an opinion, and I don’t consider mine to be better or unique. I simply wish to put these options in front of your eyes for your consideration, and know that no matter the decision you come to, it will be one of which the community can be proud. 

I am a 1970 graduate of Lee High School. I understand that the school board has voted to rename the school and is accepting public comments. While I am sad to hear of this happening, I understand the necessity of doing so.  Therefore, I would like to suggest that the school be renamed after, Jack Baumgartner, Sr., a gentleman who served the students at Lee for his entire 25 career from 1958 to 1983. He was a teacher, sports coach and assistant principal during his career at Lee. Most importantly, he was a mentor to the thousands of students he dealt with during his career. His “tough love” helped redirect many students to productive paths in life who otherwise may have ended up in prison. He taught me that you “Can’t fail if you don’t try.” That motto served me well during my professional career. I hope the board will give “Coach” Baumgartner serious consideration as it renames the school. 

I graduated from Robert E. Lee High School in 1978, and have three brothers and a sister who graduated from there as well. My folks were yankees from the inner city of South Philadelphia when they moved here in 1964. We never had a problem with the name Robert E. Lee High School because he was a historical figure pertinent to this area. We long-time residents of Springfield and graduates of Lee High School want you to know it will always be Robert E. Lee High School to us. However, since the school board has made the decision to rename the school, it seems appropriate in this era of hyper-sensitivity of political correctness that the new name not be named for an individual. I strongly suggest Central Springfield be the choice.  It is my opinion that no matter who the school might be named for, that person (either now or in the future) will have people who find something objectionable about them (as is now the case with Robert E. Lee).  I have seen a lot of change in this area having lived here so many years and I love my community, its diversity and its heritage. If you must change the name of our beloved Robert E. Lee High School, at least do not make matters worse by naming it for another human being. Call it Central Springfield.

In the case of the current list you’ve shared, any of the names proposed except for President Obama would be appropriate in my view.  While his election was a symbolic step forward for our society, his legacy has meant that many of its inequities have not only remained unaddressed since 2008, but were worsened by his administration’s policies--such as increased armed conflicts across the globe, increased prison populations, and the largest increase in income inequality since the Gilded Age** to name but three.  So just to have a specific vote, I would nominate Mildred Loving.  Legacy is nicely alliterative with Lancers, but am not sure what it refers to. 

Thank you so much for your focused efforts to move forward with the removal of RE Lee’s name from my FC high school alma mater.  I saw a good number of fellow alumni arguing for retaining the name due to multiple reasons, but in this time of societal calls to confront the perpetuation of institutionalized injustice where we recognize it, no longer amplifying the legacy of the Confederacy is a good starting point to begin with eradicating the rotten fruit of slavery and injustice.  And the fact that a majority of the current student body appears to be arguing for the name of THEIR school to be changed, I am grateful that FCPS Board was able and willing to heed their voices. In the same way, I hope that the name change suggestions are weighted in the favor of current students’ expressed preferences.  But in case alumni are also permitted to state their preferences, my vote from the superintendent’s list is Harriet Tubman.  I can think of no other person on the list who has made a greater contribution to justice and equality in US history.

 In the case of the current list you’ve shared, any of the names proposed except for President Obama would be appropriate in my view.  While his election was a symbolic step forward for our society, his legacy has meant that many of its inequities have not only remained unaddressed since 2008, but were worsened by his administration’s policies--such as increased armed conflicts across the globe, increased prison populations, and the largest increase in income inequality since the Gilded Age** to name but three. So just to have a specific vote, I would nominate Mildred Loving.  Legacy is nicely alliterative with Lancers, but am not sure what it refers to.  Thank you again for taking the time for a such thoughtful and timely reply to my input.  I look forward to learning the outcome of the deliberations and wish the FCPS and Central Springfield community all the best moving forward.

I would like to see Central Springfield as the name. Choosing a person may lead to this same situation in the future of changing names. Also, Central Springfield identifies where the school is where the other choices don't. 

Please include the name of Jack Baumgartner Sr on the list up for consideration for the new name. Coach was there at the beginning 1958 through 1982 & served as teacher, asst principal & football & basketball coach. He was a man of values & was known, liked & respected by all. This would be an appropriate & proper decision that would please everyone.

Stop naming schools after people.  In 50 years you may have to do it again.  It’s divisive. How about, Alexandria Springfield High School or vice versa. Simple.

Please put Jack Baumgartner Sr  name on on the nomination ballot.

While I am not in favor at all of the name change, I hope the board will consider choosing a school name that includes no person’s name.  The reason for this is so that it will not add even more hard feelings to those of us who are opposed to this change.  I can’t wait to hear when the name “Fairfax” has to be changed as well, as that surname is filled with an interesting history.

Do you think that by changing the name of a school you can make our history disappear? Our history, good and bad, is what makes this country. Your a Virginia forefathers are rolling over in their graves. Leave the name and teach the kids history.

As a resident of Fairfax co.for 66 yrs. And a class of 71 graduate of RE Lee HS I want to express now the school should be named for Jack Baumgartner former teacher coach and athletic director as well as admin. My husband class of 73 feels as I do.  He was an outstanding coach,mentor,and person. While I was not in favor of this vote by school board I would have better feelings about the schools new name. 

Please add Jack Baumgartner to the list of possibilities for the new name of Robert E Lee HS. Mr B was a well respected man and a very influential role model for  many young Lancers in the 60’s and 70’s as a teacher, coach and administrator!

I am an employee of Fairfax County Government and a 1981 graduate of Robert E. Lee High School. Both of my sons graduated from Lee in 2010 and 2014.  It is my understanding the school board voted to change the name.  I would like to nominate Jack Baumgardner Sr High School as a possible school name. He had such a great influence on so many of us.

I as many suggest you re-name R.E. Lee High school after Jack Baumgartner Sr. He was a great influence on me in 1960, 1961 & 1962 as well as on many others.

Actually I have a suggestion. The problem with naming schools, buildings, roads, etc. after human beings is we're not perfect. Someone is ALWAYS going to object to something about an individual. I am African-American. I have no school age children, but I see the angst of some over removing school names. I do not disagree with a policy and a plan to correct racial injustices and no, 'waiting' is no longer an option. But neither is shooting from the hip and responding to every request or demand under duress. While you're deciding, ask the students for options. You may not choose them but they should be involved' if not already. I'm sure this is not new info to you. If nothing else stop naming schools after people period. You currently have a little over 40 schools who bear someone's name. They are not exempt. As you know, once you decided to go down this slippery slope you don't control the outcome. I'm just old enough to have lived through the fight for equality & freedom, integration was just a byproduct. This generation is free, their priorities are different from ours. We fought for equality & freedom, they're fighting for equity & transparency. They're finding their roots in American history and don't like what they've learned or should have learned. They are multicultural, educated, diverse and determined to make changes now. We taught them to have a voice, now we have to listen. I have no suggestions that would be acceptable. But please, no more human names.

I am a 1969 graduate of Robert E. Lee High School and very proud of it.  I don't agree with the reasoning of doing away with the names or history of our country that dealt with the issue of slavery.  We are talking about something that happened years and years ago. Are we going to re-write the history books to do away with that period of our history?  If you are going to change the name, pick Central Springfield (it won't be a name picked for someone - could be an issue later on down the road).

I would like to nominate the name “Jack Baumgardner Senior High School” for the new name of Lee.  Mr. Baumgardner was principal at Lee while I was there (1978-1982). He was a great principal and would make a great example for future students at Lee.  I am opposed to names that are politically divisive such as Lewis and Obama. Further, neither of these men has anything to do with Lee High School.  A large number of people view Lewis, especially, as one of the most racist politicians of modern times. I think renaming the school for a racist, especially in these troubled times, would be a bad mistake.

Since you voted to change the name, you could go back to the original name - Lee District. Or Lancer High School after the Mascot or Central Springfield or just Springfield like most of the other high schools in Fairfax County

If it must be renamed, then I highly recommend it be renamed in honor of a great coach, teacher and Vice Principal, at Robert E. Lee H.S.,  Jack Baumgartner Sr.

I am writing to you to nominate the name Jack Baumgardner High School as the new school name.  I can’t think of a better person to bestow this honor then Mr Baumgartner.  He opened Lee in 1958 and retired in 1983.  His was a beloved educator, head football coach from 1959-1967, and head baseball coach after that when he became Assistant Principal.  He turned down an offer to be Principal at nearby Thomas Edison HS, because he didn’t want to leave the school he loved. He always opened up the school each morning with the janitor and stayed until everyone had left. He was always there for students, always.  I graduated from Lee in 1973.  I went through my ‘rebellious period’ during my first couple of years but with Mr Baumgartner’s tough love, I got back on track and graduated on time.  I owe him a lot, and I’m glad I was able to thank  him through his son on Facebook, before he passed away  in 2018.  Here is a link to his obituary which will tell you more about this wonderful man.  Mr Jack Baumgartner is truly deserving of this honor!

It’s best to have the most innocuous name possible. If the school is named after a person, you risk offending other groups because no public figure is without fault and/or controversy. A name like Liberty HS, FCPHS #1 or Springfield HS would be best.

I propose changing the name of the school to Jack Baumgartner Sr. High School.  Mr. Baumgartner contributed so much to the school and its students over the many years he was there.  At least those of us who are sad about the name change, will find some comfort in knowing it is being named after such a wonderful educator who touched so many young lives.

While I now live in New York, my family still lives in the same house in Springfield, VA. As a 2004 graduate of Lee High School, I fully support the proposed plan to change the name. Robert E. Lee himself was against monuments to war, particularly Confederate monuments, claiming that it would challenge the growth and recovery of society after war - this would most likely include naming buildings after Confederate generals like himself. I support changing the name to Mildred Loving as this honors a Black and Native American Virginian and the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case legalizing interracial marriage.

I am a parent and I have lived in this area my entire life. I am very happy to hear about changing the name of this school, which is long over due. I vote for Mildred Loving or Barack Obama.

I would like to recommend my grandfather, Grandmaster Jhoon Rhee, for the Robert E Lee High School name change. As the father of American Tae Kwon Do and an immigrant, he loved this country and his community. He taught some of the most notable names in recent history, including Bruce Lee, Mohammad Ali, and Tony Robbins, but also provided lessons in his local community of the DMV that promoted hard work and academic discipline (all youth martial arts students attending his schools are required to make A and B grades to move forward). My grandfather was an accomplished martial artist who spent his life sharing his vision of a healthy and disciplined lifestyle, I can’t think of a better man to recommend for this renaming.

I am a resident of Fairfax county. As a 2017 graduate of FCPS, I wanted to comment on the topic of renaming Robert E Lee high school. I believe that it is not only necessary, but imperative that the school be renamed in accordance of the values of our community. The name Robert E Lee exists as a reminder of an era in Virginia that was short lived and unsuccessful at best. The name itself is insignificant to many, and an active detriment to people of color and other vulnerable individuals in our community. Public schools are ideally a place of education and equal opportunity, and the name of a high school should not ostracize any of its graduates or students. I fully and wholeheartedly support the name suggestions of Superintendent Scott S. Brabrand and would particularly love to see Mildred Loving High School join the list of FCPS institutions. However, I do think that the historical controversy around both Cesar Chavez and Mildred Loving, though it was minor, may be of concern for some residents of the county. Given that, I would like to make a suggestion for a name: Virginia Estelle Randolph. She was an educator and educational rights activist in Virginia for over 50 years and was posthumously honored by the Library of Virginia as one of their "Virginia Women in History" for her career and contributions to education. You can read more about her at her Wikipedia page or the several organization websites that have written about her. I know that there are two institutions in Henrico County that bear her name, but neither are Virginia Randolph High School. I think it would be wonderful to consider her name and honor the work she did to assist those who didnt have fair opportunities for education.

Renaming Lee HS is an idea long overdue. Yes, he was a member of a prominent Virginia family & had many admirable qualities, including educator, but the context in which the school was named & his most famous legacy as commander of CSA forces is antithetical to our modern values & what we as a society should teach current & future generations.  Perhaps the renaming can be included in some of the curriculum so the context of the original & new name will be recognized. I could continue with more thoughts, but those are the most relevant. The names that are being proposed are interesting, but the one I saw as most appropriate is Mildred Loving. If you are looking for symbolism, that's it. In fact, I propose you name it for both Lovings. They defied racism in Virginia for love & brought down miscegenation laws. I can not think of a better reflection of what we as a society should strive for.

Please change the name of Lee High School to Dr. Benjamin Solomon Carson Sr. High School.  He is the seventeenth Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.  He was a presidential candidate in 2016.  He is a pioneer in the field of neurosurgery.  He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest award for a civilian in the United States. Dr. Ben Carson is African American.  He overcame poverty and a single parent home.  He is an excellent role model for ethnic minority students. My niece graduated from Lee High School in 2007.  

I am corresponding regarding the renaming of Robert E. Lee High School.  I am an alumni of Lee, and saw many articles yesterday regarding the Board's vote and the proposed new names under consideration.  As an alumni, I would ask that the Board consider renaming the school after long-time administrator Jack Baumgartner.  As I'm sure you're aware, he served at Lee for 25 years and was a great mentor and positive influence on a great many students that attended Lee over the years.  He was also a big supporter of womens' sports programs at the school.  He is someone well-respected and loved by the community in the era that he was at the school. As politically-charged of an issue as this has been, I think renaming the school after Mr. Baumgartner would be a fantastic way to remove the politics from this issue in a way that would unite the Springfield community at a time when we are constantly surrounded by divisiveness.  Additionally, contrary to the other proposed names, he is someone who had a far more direct impact on the community served by the school.  There are always pros and cons to naming a building or institution after someone, but I think a respected educator who served the specific community involved is a great place to start. 

I am writing to request that Robert E Lee High School in Springfield be renamed after Jack Baumgardner Sr, a favorite teacher, coach, and administrator. Please do not rename the school after someone who had nothing to do with the school, the county, or the state. 

I am a 1980 graduate of Lee high school in Springfield, Virginia. My vote for a new name is William Jackson, in honor of my principal who recently passed in June 2020.

I am very glad that FCPS is willing to rename the high school that my grandchildren will be attending in the not so distant future.  It is insulting that a confederate general who was a traitor to the United States and an advocate for slavery is honored by having a high school composed mainly of children of color named after him.  The honoree should be someone whom the children can strive to emulate and be proud of.  In light of the subjugation of women of color, and in how their many outstanding accomplishments have been overshadowed by caucasion men, I strongly feel that the high school should be named after a woman of color, who has achieved major accomplishments, and is also a native Virginian.  There are four candidates who come immediately to mind: Virginia Randolph, Henrietta Lacks, Ella Fitzgerald, Maggie L. Walker. All four of these women are remarkable, have achieved success in varied ways against the terrible odds stacked-up against them, and are deserving of the honor of having a high school of Virginian students named after her.Please take the time to google these remarkable women to see for yourself why I recommend them.  My top recommendation is Virginia Randolph because she herself was an educator for Virginian students.  Focusing on vocational schooling in Henrico County, "... She was named the United States' first "Jeanes Supervising Industrial Teacher" by her Superintendent of Schools." 

We are parents of two Robert E. Lee High School graduates (1997 and 2011) and longtime homeowners in Lee District. We are able to hear the enthusiasm of the football games from our home.  We are very happy to know that steps are being taken to change the name of Lee High School, as the current name constantly revisits a time in our history of divisiveness and hatred. As Lee District is, proudly, one of diversity, our schools should serve as a representative of that diversity. Therefore, we wish to register our support for changing Lee High School’s name to either John Lewis High School or Mildred Loving High School. Both of these individuals represent bravery and dignity, particularly at a time when it was extremely dangerous. Not only would the name be a great history lesson for our children of the best representation of our country, it would also remove the dark history that the name Robert E. Lee represents. The name of our beloved Lancers could remain - as the Lewis Lancers or the Loving Lancers. 

Your board is VERY wrong in changing the names of your schools to suit the whims of individuals that are detrimental to our society. People who are asking for these changes (dismantling of anything that is a Confederate reminder) are the MOST RACIST people in our society and you are giving into their stupidity and ridiculous demands to erase history. You are being victims of a mob gone wild and I expected a lot more from Fairfax County residents and officials who should be a lot wiser than these activists who have no agenda except to make America more racist than it has EVER been!!! Your actions are enabling them to continue their racist tyrants.! I lived in Fairfax County for 68 years and I am appalled at the people we have in our government positions right now and that includes the FCSB. You should be ashamed of yourselves for bowing down to this racist demand.
 

The removal of the name Robert E. Lee from the High School, is I guess understandable. But I am hearing possible new names would be Barack Obama HS or Cesar Chavez HS? Both names are totally unacceptable. Why must the new name recognize a person of color? The name should be non-descript, maybe something along the lines of Blueberry Hill HS? Kidding. Why pick a name which may offend others...and it will! There are people that do not appreciate all this renaming nonsense and monuments being removed. All you are doing is widening the gap. And the reason I checked the box that says no reply, is because I don't want to hear some sickening liberal; answer.

As 1967 graduates of Robert E. Lee High School in Springfield, we agree that the name should be changed.  We believe that the best choice for the new name is Central Springfield.  This name would accurately reflect the location of the school and has no likely political, racial, gender, or other connections to offend anyone now or in the future.

Renaming Lee HS is an idea long overdue. Yes, he was a member of a prominent Virginia family & had many admirable qualities, including educator, but the context in which the school was named & his most famous legacy as commander of CSA forces is antithetical to our modern values & what we as a society should teach current & future generations.  Perhaps the renaming can be included in some of the curriculum so the context of the original & new name will be recognized. I could continue with more thoughts, but those are the most relevant.  The names that are being proposed are interesting, but the one I saw as most appropriate is Virginia Loving. If you are looking for symbolism, that's it. In fact, I propose you name it for both Lovings. They defied racism in Virginia for love & brought down miscegenation laws. I can not think of a better reflection of what we as a society should strive for.

Find something else to do that will improve education. A lot of wasted time and money. Ridiculous !!! What's next

While I admittingly do not have children in this school I live around the corner in the Greenwood Association. I would like to vote for Mildred Loving name. Not only am I personally in a biracial relationship as are 3 of my immediate neighbors. It is my opinion that not enough schools are named after women. 

Hello,   I live in Springfield  (Bethelen Woods Lane). Why don't we rename the school after a beloved teacher or principal or administrative person?  Are the children involved in the naming of the school?  They should be.....

Following is a message from my neighbor and I couldn’t agree more so I’m sharing and reiterating my support for the name Loving High School. It is full of Virginia history and a beautiful tribute to diversity, love and resilience. It’s also a strong rebuke to those like Robert E. Lee who tried to suppress those values. I am also a parent of 2 LHS graduates (2017 and 2019). Hello, I am a Lee District homeowner and parent of two Lee HS graduates. I live within sight of the school. Please register my support for changing the name to Loving High School. Loving Day is a special commemoration day each year in Virginia. The name would preserve the alliterative Loving Lancers, and honor both of the brave individuals who fought for their love and their family's dignity all the way to the Supreme Court. The outcome of their case was a direct repudiation of the harm Robert E. Lee fought to preserve in our nation, so a fitting and just replacement name for our school community.

1.  I reviewed the potential name recommendations by Dr. Scott Brabrand and have significant problems with his recommendations for the following reasons:  1.  John Lewis, Congressman.  Representative Lewis is a representative from the State of Georgia and has no geographical roots to the State of Virginia and should not be considered;  2.  Barack Obama.  President Obama has no geographical roots to the State of Virginia and should not be considered;  3.  Cesar Chevez,  Mr Chevez has no geographical roots to the State of Virginia and should not be considered;  4.  Mrs. Mildred Loving while having roots to the State of Virginia did not have any significant accomplishments justifying a school be named after her besides suing the State of Virginia and having the case go to the Supreme Court where the Court decided the case in her favor.  4.  Legacy.  I have no idea where this has any relationship to anything.  5.  Central Springfield.  This is the only recommendation that can even be considered appropriate. Per School Board Regulation 8170.8, Section III,E,2, one of the preferred naming concepts is to have a school named considering geographical significance. 2.  As I mentioned in my previous e-mail, I do not believe that Robert E. Lee High School should be renamed after any individual but rather after a locale.  In reviewing the names of the High Schools in Fairfax County, out of twenty-two high schools, only six are named after individuals including Robert E. Lee.  Out of those six schools, all of the individuals had roots to the State of Virginia except for one, Edison High School.  I certainly hope the School Board exercises responsible and reasonable judgement in selecting a new name for Robert E. Lee High School. 

I was pleased to see that the school board voted to the name change.  I would like to give my feedback on the suggested names that the Superintendent proposed. While Cesar Chavez, Barack Obama, and John Lewis are all important figures in the history of our country, I would like to see the school named for a prominent Virginian of color.  If we keep with the "L" to be able to continue with the mascot and nickname, I would like to see Henrietta Lacks honored for her significant contribution to science and education if, and only if, her family is supportive. Mildred Loving is also an outstanding choice. Our school needs to recognize the diversity among its population, and what better way than to honor the Lovings as change makers.  If the overall consensus is not to honor a person, but an ideal, then Liberty is fine, but in these times, we should think about the students and the figures that should be remembered for their contributions to our state, and our community.

I am writing to indicate my support to rename the high school “Mildred Loving High School.” Not enough black women are given recognition for their achievements. She was an uncontroversial figure who spoke of a world where everyone could love who they want and she paved the way for real change to happen here, in Virginia. She was born here. Her message is a message high school students need to know and to hear. It would also be really amazing to replace Robert E Lee, a confederate, with a black woman. I attended Fairfax County schools my entire life.

I appreciate your time and effort on renaming Lee High School, this is the right time to do so. I have some name recommendations: 1. Legacy High School - This name is fitting to the determination and diversity of the students. When you think of the word legacy, it leaves an impression of pride!  2. Central Springfield High School - This is a very neutral name and makes sense to name the school based on its location.  3. Mildred Loving High School - Nothing more symbolic than a name that represents the union between two people that come from different backgrounds. 4. Unity High School - Like legacy, unity makes a lot of sense because the school is a place where cultures and backgrounds come together.  5. Cesar Chavez High School - It is time that FCPS has a school named in a language that is widely spoken. It would not only symbolize acceptance of other languages into FCPS, but it will be representative of a major number of students. It will bring a great deal of pride. 

As a graduate of Lee HS (2001), I feel that I should generate some input regarding the name change.   I am not necessarily for the name change, but if it is going to be changed, I feel it should be named after someone who is a Virginian and someone we all can look up to. I suggest the name change to L. Douglas Wilder High school. 

I suggest refraining renaming Lee High School to presidents as presidents such as Barack Obama has been a symbol of the bombing of millions in the Middle East and the poor living conditions of immigrants while under confinement. I am sure many students who have directly experienced this or detest Obama's actions during this time will not appreciate symbols like him being celebrated in such as being the new name for their high school. You should name it a central location name or a symbol since naming it after controversial figures like Lee or Obama have or may cause a backlash within the community/country. As you said that confederate values do not align with the community, bombing, killing, & separating millions of families also does not align with the community. 

I am so happy to see FCPS pro-actively changing the name of Robert E. Lee  High School. Superintendent Brabrand submitted really great recommendations for the new name. However, one name jumped out to me as the perfect choice:  John Lewis.

Just name it Lee High School so that they can keep the name 'Lee Lancers'

Please keep any names out of the options.  It will remain political and there is always another side regardless of who you choose.  You can’t go wrong with Central Springfield. It is very much unbias. Maybe Legacy as well.

I first want to congratulate you FCPS’s decision to rename Lee HS! I pray that actions like these are key in helping our county heal from injustices against black and brown people. I would also like to add the name Henrietta Lacks to the list of possible new school names (if I’m not too late). Henrietta Lacks was an African American woman who grew up in rural Virginia. She developed cervical cancer after having five children. Her cancer cells were taken and cultures of them were made without her consent. The reason her cells were so important was that they were unusually adept at reproducing and staying alive for researchers to study human cells (for example, Jonas Salk used Lacks’ cells in his research for a polio vaccine). To this day, the cells known as “HeLa cells” are enormously important in medical research. In spite of all of this, the Lacks family has received only a little media attention, and no monetary reward for the contribution of Henrietta’s cells which were taken without her consent by Johns Hopkins University. I hope, if it’s not too late, that you would consider suggesting this name to the list of names being voted on since Henrietta was a native Virginian, an important contributor to modern medicine, and never received the recognition or payment for her cells during her lifetime.

If renamed, Robert E Lee High School should be renamed Jhoon Rhee High School. 

Please end these situations once and for all. Be forward thinking for once and don't just gloss this over for the next person to deal with. Stop naming schools after people! See how easy that is? Simplistic isn't it? I hope you do the right thing this time.

As a lifetime resident of Fairfax County, I would like to commend you on taking the initiative of renaming Robert E. Lee HS. While all of the proposed names are incredible choices, the one that stood out to me was naming it after Mildred Loving. I think it's important that we celebrate those from our state who fight for equality and justice. Furthermore, we must take this opportunity to uplift and inspire young black girls in our community. For them to know that their school is not only welcoming to them but also encouraging them to follow in the footsteps of Mildred Loving to fight for those who need it and to make Virginia better through action. I speak from experience because I went to Rachel Carson MS and it pushed me towards environmental conservation and other forms of activism which has allowed me to travel across the country and work for those who also saw this vision and that vision must start at home.

I am very happy that the name of Robert E. Lee high school will be changed. I suggest John Lewis.

Jonathan Myrick Daniels, 26  (March 20, 1939 – August 20, 1965) was an Episcopal seminarian and civil rights activist. In 1965, he was murdered by a shotgun-wielding special county deputy, Tom Coleman, who was a construction worker, in Hayneville, Alabama, while in the act of shielding 17-year-old Ruby Sales. He saved the life of the young Black civil rights activist. They were both working in the civil rights movement in Lowndes County to integrate public places and register Black voters after passage of the Voting Rights Act that summer. Daniels' death generated further support for the civil rights movement. In 1991, Daniels was designated as a martyr in the Episcopal church, and is recognized annually in its calendar.

As an alum of Lee, I think it would make most sense to name it Central Springfield. It goes hand in hand with West Springfield and it doesn't involve offending anyone. While the students may want Legacy, that is not a good name. The rest will only make some very unhappy. If you want to be 100% fair and bias free name it central. 


I am a parent of a rising Senior in Lee HS, and of a proud 2015 Alumni. I've lived in this community since 2001 and resent outsiders having weight in something that is significant to our kids and our community alone. Especially since Lee HS and it's students have been looked down upon by the people of this county for so long, most having never stepped foot in the school, I resent comments and input from anyone who is not involved in it. I have had too many neighbors con their way out of Lee HS, and into Lake Braddock, South County, and Hayfield being enabled by FCPS and the School Board, that many Lee HS parents and students have felt betrayed by you all over the years. For this reason, we feel FCPS School Board should only be considering comments from the Lee HS community alone. It shouldn't be swayed primarily by people with agendas outside of the school, such as you let occur for Justice. My son and I have had a long conversation tonight concerning the selected name choices. He was primarily in favor for just leaving the name Lee HS, removing all references to Robert E, as we still have many Lee references in the community, such as Lee District, but realizes after recent events Lee will not be able to stay. I am a Northerner and was a bit taken aback when I moved here and learned my children would go to a school named after a traitor who committed treason against the US of A, but I understand to these students, the work Lee is their identity, not Robert E. (My son) and just about every student I've spoken to over the last year, mostly the on swim team and in orchestra, want to keep the Lancer mascot. This is very important to them!!! On the names the school board is going to vote on, quite honestly, neither my son or I are huge fans of any of proposed names, but I am going to list the names in order of my son's opinions, because HE'S the one going to be wearing the name on his spirit wear and HE'S the one going to have the name on his Diploma, as will my Lee HS student neighbors. 1. Central Springfield: The best part of this name is that it is completely neutral, like South County. It can't offend anyone and no past history can come back to haunt it. Central Springfield Lancers is a mouthful, but it's doable. By far the #1 choice of our entire family.  2. John Lewis: The only reason this name is #2 is because of the alliteration with Lancers. While Rep. Lewis was a very  honorable man, fighting for civil rights and highly regarded in the halls of Congress, he had nothing to do with Virginia.  My son brought up something he has seen in the news in the past though, what if someone was to come out with some type of accusation about John Lewis' character or dealings in the future? Naming a school after a person can be a slippery slope. The remaining name are completely unacceptable to my son and the rest of the family: Mildred Loving: This is the name we would love to promote. She endured a lot of hate, and persevered to change the laws in the Commonwealth of Virginia to be able to love who she wanted to love. She made it possible for others to do so as well. However, and this is a BIG however, The Loving Lancers just will not work with teenagers. The students of other schools will turn it into vulgar insinuations, plus it really doesn't help build a team's morale. Lee sports already struggle, having to wear this on their chests and backs would be another blow. Our HS students would be turned into laughing stalks. So though Mildred Loving represents everything good about a powerful message, the name Loving Lancers just won't make it in our current environment. The kids are already sending messages back and forth in how this name will be used inappropriately. Also, again, naming a school after a person can be a slippery slope. Barack Obama: This is way too controversial a name. Though Barack Obama is a lovely man and a wonderful speaker and motivator, his name is too current and there is too much political polarization around it. Obama is also a living person, and my son doesn't feel it's appropriate to name a school after a living person. Again, what if something were to come out in the future concerning his actions or dealings? Are we going to have to change the name again?  Once again, naming a school after a person can be a slippery slope. The Barack Obama Lancers sounds completely ridiculous too. Legacy: To my son, Legacy is just "lame." To a 16 year old boy who spends much of his time on computers, legacy is mostly identified as OUTDATED technology. When we spoke about the other definitions of legacy, he wants to know what legacy or who's legacy is the name supposed to represent?  He feels this name was just picked out of the dictionary to go with Lancers. We hope strongly the school board votes on Central Springfield. It's where we are and who we are. It's the best choice.

I'd like to add a recommendation for the new name of Lee H.S. to be considered- Martin Delaney. Not only one of the first three black men admitted into Harvard Medical School in 1850, but most notably was commissioned as a major in February 1865, becoming the first black line field officer in the U.S. Army and achieving the highest rank an African American would reach during the Civil War. I believe this would be a fitting tribute, and a symbolic transformation in what the name of the school represents.

I recommend naming the school after Korean martial artist who has been a great patriot, Jhoon Rhee.

First off, I am against the movement to erase history, especially Virginia History.  Robert E. Lee was a distinguished, well-educated gentleman who didn’t believe in owning slaves at all.  He freed the slaves he inherited as soon as he could.  It is a great disservice to treat him with such disrespect. But since you seem determined to erase history, I would like to put my vote in for either “Legacy” or “Central Springfield”.  While John Lewis was a respected Congressman and a figure during the Civil Rights movement, he is not a Virginian, nor had he done anything remarkable in the past 20 years.  Barack Hussain Obama is a major mistake.  You will be forced change the name again after all his crimes, while in office, are revealed.  I have no issue with Mildred Loving but I don’t think there are very many people who know the significance of her role in history.  Cesar Chavez is another mistake.  While he promoted non-violent means to promote his cause, I don’t think very many people who attend Robert E. Lee High School are interested in the person who created the Farm Workers Union. You asked for the public’s opinion, and, as a citizen of Fairfax County and have had five children progress through the county school system, this is my opinion of your choices.

I wanted to tell you a good name to replace Robert E. Lee High School. We could rename it to Henry Lee III. Robert E. Lee's dad. He was a American Revolutionary! He fought in the American war of independence,he was summoned by George Washington to put down the Whiskey Rebellion, and was also appointed as a Major General by Thomas Jefferson when war with France was imminent. You could keep the same mascot as well since Henry Lee was a great horse rider also known as "Light-Horse Harry". It would mean that we could keep the name Lee district and keep the historical importance of the Lee family in our area.

As an alumni of Lee High School, I am proud that the decision was made to change the name. I would like to submit a vote for either Franconia or Central Springfield. I believe naming the school after another person could be problematic down the road and would prefer to not have to go through this again in the future. I would also request that you please retain the Lancer as the mascot, as it is unrelated to Lee and would leave a familiar piece of the school we graduated from.

I am a rising sophomore student who has attended Jhoon Rhee Tae Kwon Do since the 2nd grade and I would like to suggest a name for Lee High School. I believe that we should rename the school to Jhoon Rhee High School. Grandmaster Jhoon Rhee is considered the Father of American Tae Kwon Do. He is the reason that martial arts are as popoular as they are today. He immigrated here from Korea and was extremely grateful for this country. He looked up to our Founding Fathers of the Constitution because he he didn't have anything close to our democracy.  He was named one of President George Bush's "1000 Points of Light" and for over 40 years he gave free lessons to the members of Congress and the Senate. He chaired the 4th of July Parade in 1982. Also the students of his schools do forms to many of our beloved patriotic songs, Jayoo meaning "Freedom" performed to "Stars and Stripes Forever", Chosang meaning "Ancestor" performed to "God Bless America", and Meeguk meaning "America" performed to "The Star Spangled Banner", our National Anthem. I would also like to point out that the Jhoon Rhee students in the former Soviet Union are required to do these forms as well. I think that it is clear that this man loved this country.  Jhoon Rhee passed away on April 30th, 2018, and I believe it would be a great way to honor this amazing American patriot by renaming Lee High School to Jhoon Rhee High School. Jhoon Rhee was a great man and being a Jhoon Rhee black belt myself, I can say that he was a man of great character and his philosophy of "Might for Right" and Leading by Example has shaped me and thousands of others into strong, confident, and responible men and women. His teaching philosophy lives on today and the Jhoon Rhee schools are continuing to produce great future leaders of America. When you learn from Jhoon Rhee instuctors, you are not just learning how to punch and kick, you learning how to build character. I believe that there is no one better to rename Lee High School after than the late and certainly great Jhoon Rhee. I am asking you to deeply consider this renaming. It shows diversity and patriotism. Thank you for considering Jhoon Rhee. I believe Fairfax County Public Schools will be doing an amazing thing by choosing to rename Lee High School to Jhoon Rhee High School. 

My family moved into Fairfax County in 1952.  My parents established the first gift shop, first bank and first savings & loan in Springfield.  I attended Garfield Elementary and moved, as an eighth-grader to Robert E. Lee, where I played football, ran track, and was president of my class in our junior year.  I was graduated in 1964 (to enroll that fall at the College of William & Mary), and went on to serve in the Peace Corps.  I am now retired from a satisfying career in international education. I understand that the Board will shortly consider the renaming of my alma mater.  I have been following closely the debate, dialogue and discovery that has been taking place across the entire country, and the numerous changes in nomenclature and public statuary that are being contemplated. Considering the suggestions that have been put forward to date, I would strongly urge the adoption of the name of President Barack Obama.  There could be no more perfect choice to mark both the progress already made and the tasks that remain before us in the areas of racial justice and equal rights, especially in a community that has so many members who are in government service, both military and civilian.

I would like to make my recommendation to change the name of Robert E. Lee High School to Jhoon Rhee High School.  Many people in this area, including my brother Shawn and me, became Black Belts under Jhoon Rhee's tutelage.  Mr. Rhee had a policy specifying that all Black Belts in grade school had to make As and Bs.  The discipline instilled in us by taking Tae Kwon Do from Jhoon Rhee has taken us both far in life.  Jhoon Rhee trained many military men and women as well as members of Congress.   On the other hand, General Lee was a Confederate traitor who fought against the United States in the interest of continued slavery.  Lee may have a place in the history books, but he is not deserving of statues and buildings memorializing him.  Please give serious consideration to renaming the school after a truly deserving man that pushed education and fitness of mind, body and spirit.  The man who brought his art to us and became the Father of American Tae Kwon Do should be memorialized here in the area where he lived and taught so many of us.  He was a teacher, a local, an immigrant that became a proud American and a truly great man.

My recommendation is to not use any names of people moving forward for the naming of any schools. This will avoid having to change the name of schools in the future. Central Springfield sounds like a good neutral name and goes with the theme of West Springfield HS.

Name change to Jhoon Rhee HS. He was such an influence in my life. He required us to have good grades in order to progress through the black belt system. He regularly showed his heart and his strength. I support the renaming of your school to Jhoon Rhee HS. 

I would like to recommend that the HS be renamed after my father, Jhoon Rhee.   He brought Tae Kwon Do to the US in 1956 and popularized Martial Arts to the sport and industry it is today.   Under his leadership, he taught many students to become champions in the sport as well as in life.  He lived by and taught his creed to develop Knowledge in the Mind, Honesty in the Heart and Strength in the Body.  He was very devoted to  promoting love of country, discipline and excellence in his students. He passed away in May 2018 and over a 1000 people flew in from all over the world to commemorate his amazing life. 

I do not agree at all with the name change of Robert E Lee High School though it highlights a negative period of American history but he was a Virginian who fought for his state against a repressive government to his standards and beliefs though they might not be right but at his time he fought for what he believed as a slave owner and he treated his slaves fairly though his West Point classmate buried numerous Union soldiers on his property what is now Arlington Cemetery because of his hatred of his classmate and his southern inklings. There is no correct way to change our history and remember slavery has been prevalent in World History since our beginning and many of the black slaves sold into slavery in 1619 where sold be other blacks to white slavers who then transported throughout the world. As a student of history I don’t condone slavery which still exists today but changing the school name to hide our US, Civil War History is very similar to what the Russians did during Communism during the Cold Block and we should be educating people and trying to change the hate that exists which will never happen because people will always be hateful and racism against something. I have been a native of Northern VA since I was born in 1973 and other then a year in Las Vegas, four years in North Carolina at UNC at Chapel Hill and four years in England. I am proud to be a Virginian with our colored past and everything that it entails and you are hiding from our history as a state and a nation.

I'd like to register a comment in support of naming the school after Mildred Loving, a native Virginian.

I am writing to recommend renaming Robert E. Lee High School to Jhoon Rhee High School.  Jhoon Rhee was a national treasure. He almost single-handedly introduced karate to the U.S. as a Korean immigrant back in the 1960s.  His commercials in the DC area (‘Nobody Bothers Me’, ‘Might For Right’, ‘Call USA-1000’) are embedded in the minds of those who grew up here in the 70s-90s … maybe even longer. Jhoon Rhee personified the American Dream – starting with nothing and succeeding through hard work and discipline.  And while he was commercially successful, his greatness came from the impact he made on so many kids – instilling good values as well as training them and making them physically fit through the martial arts.  Chuck Norris and Tony Robbins, among many others, trained with him and thought him such an important influence that they came and spoke at his funeral!! That’s a man who made an impact.  I was fortunate to go to McLean High School (Class of 1985 – Go Highlanders!) with Chun and Mimi Rhee, two of Jhoon’s children and know them well.  They are a credit to the man and his legacy.  The Rhee family is a pillar of the DMV community and have been here for over 50 years. Now, when it is so apparent that we need to be changing out many of our historical symbols,  we should look to burnish new ones that reflect the way our communities actually look and live in ways which we all aspire. You could do no better than changing the name to Jhoon Rhee High School.   Any Northern Virginia kid would be proud and honored to go to a school named after a man like that. 

I would recommend naming it: Jhoon Rhee high school.  Grand master Jhoon Rhee was a local resident and legend in the martial arts world.  I started with his school 50 years ago and he had a profound impact on my life.  He worked his whole life to teach tens of thousands of people  discipline and honesty.  His slogan was “might for right”.  He taught Bruce Lee and Mohamed Ali.  EVERYONE in the martial arts world  had some connection to him. 

Firstly, you should be commended for opting to change the name of this school. As an alumni from the class of 2001, I remember having this conversation with peers during my AP US History class. The hurt was present then—I’m positive it was embedded deeply for others before me—and continued to negatively impact students well after my time in those hallways.  You are now paving the way for a new history and better legacy for future graduates. It’s with that, I would like to advocate for the new Legacy High School Lancers. You are giving the gift of positive change to future generations.  The class of 2021 now has a fresh perspective and a restored hope in their community.  I have no doubt they will use this to promote the power behind unity and activism—And what a legacy that will be.

I am an alumnus of Robert E. Lee H.S. and spent my first eighteen years of life growing up in Springfield, Va. I write to you today to give my opinion on this delicate matter. I will be clear and short with my points. -Barack Obama, John Lewis, Cesar Chávez have all been positive representatives to American society in their own right, but none are Virginian and by default should not be considered. (Note: I am a fan of President Obama, but he is Hawaiian.) It’s more important now than ever that we celebrate more local positive movements to strengthen the modern fabric of Virginia as a State who was once an important part of the confederacy and one of the original thirteen colonies.  Legacy. This broad, general and random naming will lose its purpose in a short time. Central Springfield is a dismissal and lost opportunity for real change. Springfield is central but maybe it should have been named that when it was first built. The time for that has passed. Mildred Loving is the best fit. It acknowledges a shared love and life between a woman of color and a caucasian male, who married and fought for the right to live their truth. She, they both, are Virginian and represent perseverance and the calm fighting spirit needed to triumph over inhumane societal ideologies. I thank you each for your time and hope that my thoughts are helpful in this difficult process. This is your moment to make a mark on society and strengthen the legacy that each one of you will leave behind. Your first step in actually making the change is illustrative of your understanding that basic humanity needs serious encouragement in this day and age.

I am a current fcps special education teacher and a former Robert E Lee high school class of 2009 graduate. I would love to see the name changed to Barack Obama or Mildred Loving HS.

I have been a student, teacher, and journalist of the martial arts for 35 years.  I support renaming Robert E Lee High School for Jhoon Rhee, a great American and a great example of values all our children can aspire to.  To quote his son, C Woo Rhee  “I can't think of a local immigrant Patriot who was a champion of education for children more deserving of the honor than my dad.  Recognized as the Father of American Tae Kwon Do, In 1980, he instituted a policy that all Black Belts in grade school had to make As and Bs. This policy is standard in most martial arts schools nationwide. As an Asian American immigrant he loved his adopted Country, his heros were the Founding Fathers of the Constitution. He was recognized as one of George Bush's "1000 Points of Light". For over 4 decades offered free lessons to members of Congress and Senate. He chaired the 4th of July Parade in 1982. Our students currently do forms to the music of God Bless America and the National Anthem of the US.  Students in the former Soviet Union are also required to do these same forms to the U.S. Anthem since the 1990s. He was a man of character and always led by example.”

What a better way to honor diversity and unity than to name the Robert E. Lee high school after the Father of American TaeKwon Do, Jhoon Rhee.  Jhoon Rhee was a resident of Fairfax County for over forty years and thousands of local children benefited from his character development martial arts programs. He was a true patriot and champion of education, and character development recognized locally and internationally.  He was a pioneer and visionary— emphasizing knowledge in the mind, honesty in the heart and strength in the body. He implemented policy requiring all Black Belts in grade schools maintain As and Bs.  This policy is standard in most martial arts schools nationwide. As an Asian American immigrant, he loved his adopted Country and living in the Nations Capital region, his heros were the Founding Fathers. He was recognized as one of George Bush's "1000 Points of Light" for his volunteerism and positive community impact. For over four decades offered free lessons to members of Congress and Senate. Implemented the Joy of Discipline program,  teaching character development through free martial  arts classes in DC schools. Jhoon Rhee students currently do forms to the music of God Bless America and the National Anthem of the US. He was a man of character and always led by example.#mightforright

As an alumnus of Robert E. Lee HS class of 1996, I am thrilled at the unanimous vote by the board to rename my alma mater. Well done! I would like submit the following name as for the renaming of the school...Ulysses S. Grant High School - Home of the Lancers. 

My son, a Lee High School graduate suggested renaming the school Lee High School…in honor of American icon Stan Lee, the creator of the Marvel Universe and someone who was incredibly creative and universally liked. The school could still be called "Lee" High School, and any signage or identification that does not have "Robert E" can be salvaged as a money saver. Stan's recent passing would make this move even moreappropriate.

I am a resident of Fairfax County and have grandchildren who live in Springfield. I recommend Central Springfield High School. I do not feel that schools should be named after people no matter how honorable they may be.

I have 3 children, currently ages 3-5, that will one day be attending former Lee HS. We would like to see Mildred Loving be the new namesake for the HS. She is a native Virginian and represents the values of the families in our neighborhoods that will comprise the current and future classes of the HS.

I vote for Legacy High.

I petition to change Robert E. Lee High School to Jhoon Rhee High School.

They should stop naming schools after people.  There will always be some that find issues with the person it's named after.  Central or Legacy are neutral. Just my two cents. 

As an alumni of Robert E. Lee, along with my husband and oldest daughter I have strong ties to the school.  My youngest is currently a student there.  I would like her to be a graduate of the same school name as the rest of us. I don’t agree with the name change therefore feel in all fairness it should be neutral choice. I vote for Central Springfield to be the new name.

I am writing to give you my suggestion for a name change to Robert E. Lee High School.   I believe that the name of the greatest American patriot I knew personally would be quite fitting.  He's a well known Washingtonian and had a tremendous impact with Educating Children from all ages.  He is Recognized as the Father of American Tae Kwon Do, In 1980, he instituted a policy that all Black Belts in grade school had to make As and Bs.  This policy is standard in most martial arts schools nationwide. As an Asian American immigrant he loved his adopted Country, his heros were the Founding Fathers of the Constitution. He was recognized as one of George Bush's "1000 Points of Light". For over 4 decades offered free lessons to members of Congress and Senate. He chaired the 4th of July Parade in 1982. Our students currently do forms to the music of God Bless America and the National Anthem of the US.  Students in the former Soviet Union are also required to do these same forms to the U.S. Anthem since the 1990s.  This person is the late Jhoon Rhee. Made famous also from his Nobody Bothers Me commercials from the 1970's.

Disagree with the decision to alter history. But if that stands, who pays for all the signage, etc? Any new name should NOT be that of a real person because that in itself could be changed by a subsequent party.

Robert E Lee was perfectly fine.  It's disgraceful that you all are distorting & erasing history.  You should all be ashamed of yourselves. Being pushed around like a bunch of scared sheep.  This politically correct nonsense has gone way too far.  Personally, I don't want to live in a socialist country but that is exactly where all this is leading to.  Terribly disappointed in what was once a shining example of what all other counties & local governments across the country should aspire to.  

Thank you so much for your focused efforts to move forward with the removal of RE Lee’s name from my FC high school alma mater.  I saw a good number of fellow alumni arguing for retaining the name due to multiple reasons, but in this time of societal calls to confront the perpetuation of institutionalized injustice where we recognize it, no longer amplifying the legacy of the Confederacy is a good starting point to begin with eradicating the rotten fruit of slavery and injustice.  And the fact that a majority of the current student body appears to be arguing for the name of THEIR school to be changed, I am grateful that FCPS Board was able and willing to heed their voices. In the same way, I hope that the name change suggestions are weighted in the favor of current students’ expressed preferences.  But in case alumni are also permitted to state their preferences, my vote from the superintendent’s list is Harriet Tubman.  I can think of no other person on the list who has made a greater contribution to justice and equality in US history.

It is particularly disgraceful that the FCPS is turning it's back on Robert E. Lee, who willingly chose to put the state of Virginia above his personal safety and prosperity.  Virginia chose to join the Confederacy, and Robert E. Lee simply chose to serve Virginia the best of his abilities, which included extremely significant contributions after the Civil War. I strongly urge FCPS to chose a new high school name that will unite ALL Fairfax residents, refusing all political motives and urges to favor any particular group or agenda.  A generic and uninspiring name is much preferred over a politically correct name, chosen to advance a particular agenda, which will divide Fairfax representatives.  The students deserve a school name that does not cause division.

I am an alumni from the class of 2002. I am extremely happy to hear that the county has finally decided to change the name of Lee High School. Mildred Loving would be an extremely appropriate name for the same many reasons I’m sure it’s on the short list. Our high school has always been extremely diverse, and the Loving v Virginia case hits home for many students and alumna who Also came from a mixed background. It also grounds us in real Virginia history, that will hopefully spur the teaching of more of our history as well. Not to mention, it still keeps its LHS acronym :) Although I think Mildred Loving is the most appropriate, for the many connections, the short list of names are all great and any name chosen will be in great service to the students, and alumni & legacy of our school.

I recommend Harriet Tubman High School.

I understand that the school board voted to rename this school,  however to change the name to any of those currently recommended is indeed reverse discrimination and as a taxpayer and former history teacher I find that to be offensive.   If you want equality then a more neutral name is appropriate.  As you know history can repeat itself if not taught in schools and changing names and removing statues doesn't erase history.  Do the right thing and if  you insist on changing the name,  change it to one everyone can accept. 

This seems like a great opportunity to highlight some of Virginia’s undervalued Trail Blazers. Here are two suggestions. Virginia Randolph — (1870-1958) Richmond; African-American educator. She was named the United States' first "Jeanes Supervising Industrial Teacher” and was posthumously honored by the Library of Virginia as one of their "Virginia Women in History" for her career and contributions to education.   Henrietta Lacks — (1920-1951) Roanoke; The progenitor of the HeLa cell line, one of the most notable cell research discoveries ever made. Her cells lead to many important breakthroughs in biomedical research, including the polio vaccine. Today, the HeLa cell line has been recognized as a globally significant contribution to medicine and research.

Did anyone do a cost analysis on changing a schools name? The school barely has enough money to pay for athletic uniforms let alone pay for a name change.  Due to the fact it costs tax payer dollars to change the name of the school. I propose the the school be renamed to Bruce Lee high school so that people can still call the school Lee high, which most people call it anyways.  Another thought is that to name the school after a person can also offend other groups of people. One way or another people are going to be offended with pretty much what ever is chosen for a name.

My vote is for John Lewis. Absolutely not Ceasar Chavez or Loving HS (you can’t name any school “loving” - too many sexual jokes for the teenage boys!!!!!).

I submit the school be named after our hero Jack Bumgartner.

I attend Fairfax High School. I heard about the name change and I would like to suggest Michelle Obama. She is a female, african american first lady who had done a lot for the country, and is an amazing inspiration. 

Thank you so much for your focused efforts to move forward with the removal of RE Lee’s name from my FC high school alma mater.  I saw a good number of fellow alumni arguing for retaining the name due to multiple reasons, but in this time of societal calls to confront the perpetuation of institutionalized injustice where we recognize it, no longer amplifying the legacy of the Confederacy is a good starting point to begin with eradicating the rotten fruit of slavery and injustice.  And the fact that a majority of the current student body appears to be arguing for the name of THEIR school to be changed, I am grateful that FCPS Board was able and willing to heed their voices.

In the same way, I hope that the name change suggestions are weighted in the favor of current students’ expressed preferences.  But in case alumni are also permitted to state their preferences, my vote from the superintendent’s list is Harriet Tubman.  I can think of no other person on the list who has made a greater contribution to justice and equality in US history.

In my own opinion, CENTRAL SPRINGFIELD is the best choice for the Robert E. Lee High School name changed. There is no name to be put in a battle. I'm not so sure, but the name SPRINGFIELD is from the old English farmland in Essex, England.There is no relationship with any war heroes or any famous person in the history. If we choose a certain famous name, there's a lot more discussions about the situation. Should we make it more difficult? I hope not.

Central Springfield is my vote… it does not imply anything other than location… just like South County High School.

I just want to say that I like the school to be called Central Springfield. 

I saw the news on the decision to rename Robert E. Lee High School, which I support. Has Richard Henry Lee been considered as the new name?  After some Internet research, I think it could be a good option because he was a founding father from Virginia and the namesake of the Lee Resolution, which led to the Declaration of Independence.  He also was one of Virginia’s U.S. senators.  I noticed there’s an R.H. Lee Elementary School in Glen Burnie, MD -- would that prevent this from being considered as an option?

I thought the whole nonsense of changing it was because people currently dont like what Robert. E. Lee stood for. Ok that's fine but don't you think it makes more sense to then stop naming schools after people and stick to inanimate objects so we do not have this same problem in the future when the next group of people decide they don't like whoever's its currently named after.

I am in favor of the recommendation of Superintendent Scott Brabrand, Ed.D, that the name of Robert E. Lee High School be changed to: Cesar Chavez High School

As a retired FCPS teacher, mother, and grandmother I was thrilled about the school board's decision today. My suggestion for the new name is John Lewis High School.

Robert E Lee is to be renamed. That's appropriate. "Loving" has been suggested for the new name. In theory that's nice; in reality "Loving High" is going to get some hilarious but very inappropriate nicknames. Please consider Gladys West. Here is her Wikipedia entry: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gladys_West She's a Virginia mathematician whose models became the basis for GPS. She's in the Air Force Hall of Fame. She's also Black. A brilliant scientist, born and raised in a Virginia sharecropping community, who spent her whole life in Virginia, and who made contributions that benefit the entire world. I can think of nothing more fitting for a Fairfax County school. Changing the name from Lee to Gladys West would be a powerful statement.

Rename Robert E. Lee High to Bruce Lee High.

I am in favor of naming that school Barack Obama High School.

I would like to rename the high school Barack Obama High School.  

I have worked at Lee for the past 12 years. I am so happy the school board has voted to to change the name of the school. I saw that Loving Is one of the options. I whole heartedly support that name. I am a government teacher and Loving v. Virginia is one of my favorite court cases to teach (and a student favorite every year.) This year when I explained the court case to my students, one of the students exclaimed, “Their name was Loving?! That’s just perfect!” I agreed with the student and believe it is the perfect name for our school. I hope it is a serious contender for the new name.

I would prefer Loving over the other names as she is the only Virginian in the list. Otherwise, Central Springfield is a good descriptor of where it is. 

We recommend Central Springfield High just like West Springfield Schools

I am a Lee HS grad and love the idea of a name change. I would like to see us keep the “L” name, so I prefer John Lewis or Mildred Loving. Loving seems a better fit since she was a Virginian and too few schools are named after women.

I think it’s not a good idea to name schools after people. Someone will find fault no matter who it is.  I like place names - Central Springfield doesn’t sound good, though. That’s a lot of syllables. Why not just Springfield HS? Legacy is fine, too, or Liberty if the point is to keep the “L,” which makes sense.

I believe the appropriate name change should be to, “Arthur Neville Chamberlain High School.” Wow, wouldn’t that be appropriate?!?  What are you all thinking!?!?

I love the Central Springfield High School name. 

I believe the “legacy” is a beautiful and neutral name for the school. 

The names suggested by Superintendent Brabrand sound good--except for Legacy.   In another time, I feel that name that would also be good, given the L.   But Legacy now has too many echos of President  Trump talking/tweeting about saving Confederate monuments and names that represent "our Legacy." 

I am writing this to provide my own view on the name change for Robert E Lee High School, I am recommending the name not to be changed to Barack Obama high school, because Barack Obama has committed a lot of war crimes in the middle east, specifically targeting Muslim people. 

I think it should be called Springfield High School. Just flat out Springfield High School like so many other schools named for the area where they are located. 

An idea name for Robert E Lee High School. Pick a name of a famous American Black sports player. Keep in mind, whatever name is chosen will impact the performance of the sports team of the school. The new name will give the schools sports team a name to live up to. It will have a positive affect on the overall counties sports program. Don't go too far back in history with the name. You want a name today's generation and the next few generations can strongly relate to. An athletes name that will be an inspiration. An athlete that is not still living so there is no negative influence in case the course of history may change for that athletes life. Ones whose death occurred naturally or by events that had no relation to violence. Kobe Bryant would be an example to this choice. But, preferably a famous American Black athlete native to Virginia.

I know the vote is today and it would be naive of me under the current environment to believe you’ll leave the school name unchanged. Not sure if you’re picking the new name right away but I think the tens of thousands of alumni would be delighted if you chose either Jack Baumgartner, Jim England, or Bill Jackson (who passes away yesterday). All three men were legendary educators at Lee, none of them are controversial and I’m sure you could easily find their bios. All three dedicated their lives to the Lee community. This gives you an opportunity to retain the history component of the school and would make both sides of this issue happy. It’s a win/win.

In regards to the renaming of Lee High School, located at 6540 Franconia Rd, Springfield, VA 22150, I have been hesitant in sending this to you due to national political/social unrest combined with the COVID-19 pandemic that has affected citizens’ frame of mind in this new decade of the year 2020. Ironically, current affairs illustrate a form of “zero tolerance”, which is a topic to be addressed at another time, but I will make a statement regarding this latter. 

The Civil War, specifically stressed by most: slavery, is the “emotional” reason for the renaming this school. Upon further research found via the internet in the opposition of desegregation: Massive Resistance, and later Passive Resistance, was the justification for the naming of the school plus one other: J.E.B. Stuart. I have tried to find a “logical” reason for or against the renaming of the school, I have found an exhaustive, mammoth amount of information to peruse through and that such information all too often circles back by quoting others’ research and publicized work. For the sake of argument the source that has inspired this composition is from a Wikipedia entry: Wikipedia Article on Robert E. Lee. A good place to start with this encyclopedic reference material is at Section 6.2 Lee's views on race and slavery. (NOTE: For those of you who “groaned dismissively” of the source then by all means you are more than welcome to, on your own time, read the 4692 pages spread between the works of three authors of which there is a four volume, Pulitzer Prize set, and other cyberspace articles about the man. Take a leap of faith with a grain of salt for the source material.)

As per the reference material here are two quotes from General Robert E. Lee:

Regarding Slavery in an letter to his wife, Mary Anna Randolph Custis:
“In this enlightened age, there are few I believe, but what will acknowledge, that slavery as an institution, is a moral & political evil in any Country.”

Regarding Succession in a letter to his son, George Washington Custis:
“As an American citizen, I take great pride in my country, her prosperity and institutions, and would defend any State if her rights were invaded. But I can anticipate no greater calamity for the country than a dissolution of the Union. It would be an accumulation of all the evils we complain of, and I am willing to sacrifice everything but honor for its preservation.”

My observations regarding changing or not changing the name of the school is that the decision will be made because of the emotional reasons of the Civil War and strategic campaigns of politicians. Also of note too many folks do not know about Robert E. Lee the person or his qualities and character and therefore people have and will “judge a book by it’s cover”.

When discussing the Civil War (in schools, social media etc.) the common focus is about slavery which brings about heated, emotional dialogue and eventually (or inevitablly) evolves into a discussion of racism. Racism and prejudice IS zero tolerance. Unfortunately all sides practice their view of zero tolerance. “Passion rules reason” is a quote from the books of Terry Goddkind. To paraphrase in today’s situation: emotions overrule logic.

I did not read, nor was I compelled, to do any research on Robert E. Lee until recent events surfaced. He is commonly remembered as a general of the Confederacy and therefore associated as someone who approves of slavery, which apparently is not the case. Thus my findings regarding General Robert E. Lee is as follows:

He was a soldier which I equate as Duty. He was an American which I equate as Citizen. He opposed secession from the Union which I equate as Patriot. He was adverse to slavery which I equate as Compassion.

Because he exemplified these attributes being influenced by his upbringing, experiences and most likely by his choice to do so I equate him as Respectful and Honorable. Since we are, indirectly, talking about a high school, should we not instill the above mentioned traits unto students who walk the halls of the edifice? Should we not strive for said qualities as adults beyond formal and advanced education? The original intent for the naming of the high school was a political campaign in retaliation and opposition to the federal government in desegregating the public school system. This can be a chance to evolve the controversial original intent by updating and upgrading it to create the latitude to not just keep the namesake of a school, but also a way to teach the whole story about Robert E. Lee and not just a Confederate General.  Here’s one more quote: “…I don’t want the bad things in my life, [to] be the only things people remember.” - Mike Baxter (Tim Allen) from the tv show Last Man Standing.

In conclusion, in the midst of ongoing events, this letter is neither a petition for or against the renaming of Robert E. Lee high school. Rather, this is an appeal to the Board of Supervisors to work together with the community, one more time, in hopes that everyone will make an informed, rational and agreeable choice in determining the outcome of this process. Although the name of the building can make a difference, it is the people inside the building that will make a difference especially in creating the opportunity for all to rise above the occasion.

I was the SGA VP in 2013 and I'm a 2013 LHS grad, and I advocate for the school name to be changed. The myth surrounding Robert E. Lee's image as a kindly statesman who opposed slavery but could not bear to abandon his home state of Virginia is an old tall tale. Lee was a slave holder, who aligned with the principle ideology of the Confederacy, which was the states' rights to own slaves (Ctrl+F, "slavery"). Often we forget what this entails, but it means that Lee conceded his morality when he chose to defend human bondage, human trafficking, sex trafficking, rape, torture, maiming and murder. Slavery goes beyond forced labor; it iis the ultimate evil because it is the ultimate form of oppression. Like most slave owners, Lee was cruel to his slaves, breaking from the custom of Washington by separating slave families. He is a part of history, but taken outside of a historical context he only serves as a beacon for white supremacy. Lee was a traitor to his nation and was responsible for thousands of American deaths. It is my personal belief that he and every Confederate general, politician, and leader deserve to be placed among the same rank as Benedict Arnold. But he did have one redeeming quality, and that was his views on moving past strife and resentment to promote healing; in reference to statues that were to be erected after the war he says,  "As regards the erection of such a monument as is contemplated; my conviction is, that however grateful it would be to the feelings of the South, the attempt in the present condition of the Country, would have the effect of retarding, instead of accelerating its accomplishment; & of continuing, if not adding to, the difficulties under which the Southern people labour. All I think that can now be done, is to aid our noble & generous women in their efforts to protect the graves & mark the last resting places of those who have fallen, & wait for better times."  Understandably, the urge to resist name change exists because "LHS is the Best!" is a catchy chant and as an alumnus all of my shirts have "Lee" or "Lancers" on them. This is why I propose the name of the school be changed to "Shelton Jackson 'Spike' Lee High School" in honor of the Black filmmaker and activist. I also favor Albert Einstein HS or Springfield HS or Franconia HS. 

I proposed the following names: 1.  Spike Lee High School 2.  Albert Einstein High School 3.  East Springfield High School

Join the 21st century.

The Fairfax County School Board should take action and vote to rename Robert E Lee high school. A young Black student should never have to attend a school named after a Confederate general. How do you think the 14% of students at Robert E. Lee High School who are Black feel when they come to school every day? Some of them may not care, but some of them are probably upset, offended, frustrated, or hurt by the name of the school. If the School Board takes no action, they will be siding with white supremacists. I suggest renaming the high school to Franconia High School.

I grew up in Springfield, Virginia, and graduated from Robert E. Lee High School in 1976.   I have the following comments about the renaming of the high school.  In short, I support renaming the school.  Although Robert E. Lee was a long-time Virginian and otherwise an honest man who tried to remain loyal to his state, he also owned slaves and made the unfortunate decision to lead the Confederate Army in a war against the United States.  Looking at archived FCPS School Board minutes I see that the original assigned/working name of the school while it was being planned and constructed was Franconia High School.   Then, soon before it opened it - at the suggestion of the Superintendent W.T. Woodson - the school was named to Lee H.S., even though the minutes noted that the community groups wanted the school name to remain Franconia H.S.   (The name at that time was simply  LEE H.S., not Robert E. Lee H.S.).  Then, in 1963, the name of the school was changed again from Lee H.S. to Robert E. Lee H.S. The naming of the school as Lee H.S. was may have been justifiable given that the school was located in the original Lee District boundaries possibly named after the long-standing Lee family who had deep roots in Northern Virginia, going back to the Colonial and Revolutionary days. There were Lee Revolutionary war heroes, Lee Continental Congressmen, Lee Virginia Governors, Lee Virginia State Delegates, etc.    However, it should also be noted that the Brown v. Board of Education decision was in 1954, the school opened in 1958, the same year Superintendent W.T. Woodson suggested the name “Lee.” Woodson was known to be against school integration.  Some people today may advocate renaming the school today back to its original  “Lee High School” name, dropping the “Robert.”  But I do not think that will be acceptable in today’s world, as General Robert E. Lee will always be associated with the greater Lee family. Regarding other area history…  Franconia Road was named after a 191 acre farm called “Frankonia,” purchased in 1859 by William Fowle, a merchant from Alexandria, Virginia.  Robert E. Lee High School currently sits on Franconia Road and a very short distance just west of the unincorporated area called Franconia.  Robert E. Lee High School also sits a very short distance just east of the unincorporated development area called Lynbrook.   It also abuts the Springfield Estates neighborhood, an area that was developed in the 1950s. Springfield was founded in the 1840s around an Orange and Alexandria Railroad train station. The Daingerfield Railroad Station is the VRE station that is now located off Backlick Road.  It was named after Henry Daingerfield, an Alexandria businessman who sat on the railroad's board of directors.   That station also housed Springfield’s first post office in the late 1860s. In 1877, Richard Moore petitioned for another post office, which was named The Moor Post Office.  It was located about a little over a mile south of the station, near the intersection of Old Keene Mill and Backlick Roads. This was later named the Garfield post office, after President Garfield. He was a well-loved congressman and later president who favored the abolition of slavery, had once served as a general in the Union Army and was assassinated while in office in 1881. Springfield continued to be rural into the 1940s. Then real estate developer Edward Carr subdivided the area for suburban development around the new Interstate Highway (Henry Shirley Highway, now I-95/I-395).   Carr later sold some of his land to the Crestwood Construction Corporation who built the homes in the Crestwood area of Springfield. As mentioned, Shirley Highway was named after Henry G. Shirley who was once a Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Highways. He was the one who approved the plans for Virginia’s first limited access highway from Route 1 to 14th Street bridge in Washington, D.C. Backlick Road, one of Springfield’s main thoroughfares which runs parallel to Shirley Highway was named after a waterway way called Backlick Run. The road became a “rolling road,” where  tobacco was packed in heavy hogshead casks (or barrels) and rolled to the waterways.  The nearby Springfield street named Rolling Road was also a rolling road, just as is name says. Springfield now has West Springfield and North Springfield areas, but the 22150 zip code area – which includes Robert E. Lee High School – is unofficially considered to be the  "Central Springfield" area.  Growing up in Springfield in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, I always described my house as being located in “Central Springfield.” Robert E. Phipps was the first principal of Lee High School. He earned a Bachelor’s degree at West Virginia Institute of Technology and had did graduate work at George Washington University. However, he stayed at the high school only briefly, resigning in 1959 for a job with the Navy Department. These are some historical names that may be possible contenders for a new high school name:  Franconia, Fowle, Daingerfield, Backlick, Springfield Estates, Moore, Crestwood, Garfield, Central Springfield, Shirley, Carr, Lynbrook and Phipps.  However, I fear many of these names may be too boring for today’s student body.   The students at Robert E. Lee High School may prefer to name their school after a more contemporary person of note who reflects the diversity and pride of the school.  One such name that comes to mind in Barbara Rose Johns, an African American student who attended the segregated all-black Moton High School in Farmville, Virginia, in the 1950s.  Frustrated at the inadequate facilities and poor conditions at her school she organized a student strike.  The NAACP got involved and filed a law suit which ultimately led to the Brown vs Board of Education decision which ended segregated schools.

 

In light of recent events I strongly believe that Lee high school should change its name. The school was named after a commander of the Confederate army and is therefore a symbol of slavery and oppression students of color. Changing the name to just Lee high school is still the same name but nicely paraphrased while still holding the same meaning. It would be similar to sending a Jewish kid (like me) to Hitler high school. See the problem? It tells students of color that their history of oppression and the current discrimination they face does not concern FCPS. By changing the name of LHS, it would show solidarity for BLM and show students of color they they matter, their voices matter, and their education matters.

This is the literal least we can do to support our students: not make them attend a school and wear spirit gear with the name of a dead Confederate on it. t is beyond past time.

Please change the name of Robert E. Lee High School. Glorifying a racist, pro-slavery, traitor to our country does not reflect the current values of Fairfax County or the Commonwealth of Virginia. Its an embarrassment and it keeping the name puts all BIPOC students on notice that FCPS supports treason, slavery, and racism. This change should have been made long ago.

I play baseball occasionally at Lee High School as a member of a senior league in the area. I am adding my name to the list of many who request that the school, currently named to honor a man who dishonored his country by fighting to establish a new nation which would, in effect, have enshrined the right to the enslavement of a people, be renamed.

I wish I could be in attendance to the virtual hearing today, but have previous commitments that prevent my presence.  I am grateful that you are continuing to move forward to consider this important and historical concern.  After learning of new historical reports about RE Lee’s contribution to the Confederate cause as a slave owner rather than just a soldier; and his inhumane treatment of the persons in his servitude, it is past time for Lee to be named in honor of someone more deserving of the honor.   I am proud of the education I received at Lee, but can no longer brook having that legacy of my early life tarnished by attempting to live under an incomplete and inaccurate reflection of who Robert E. Lee really was. I first began to feel this way after watching “Remember the Titans” years ago.  After doing some research, I came across past reports that stated that both Lee and Stuart high schools were built and (especially) named for Confederate generals to publicly taunt the move toward integration at TC Williams and other Fairfax County schools. So in light of the cultural awakening across the country, and especially to mitigate concerns of African Americans, Black people, and People of Color who want us to begin to remove the shackles of racist US history, I implore those with the responsibility to attend to this concern to change the name of RE Lee High School. 

As a 2002 alumni of Lee high school, I fully support the proposed plan to change the name. I am also a FCPS teacher, at another school, and think that this change is long overdue.

I am a resident/employee of FCPS.  My son is 8 and will attend Lee HS.  I am writing to you so that this can be read at today's meeting and tomorrow's vote about renaming Lee HS. I have provided more than 70 suicide assessments at FCPS. My family doesn't care about all that as they refer to me as Lynny Penny. My family lives in Caroline County Va near Fredericksburg. We have been there for 200 years.  We are descendants of a 14 year old slave, named Ephraim, kidnapped from Nigeria. We were purchased by Lawrence Washington/Burkes of Caroline County family. We also have a Cherokee Native that married into our family to avoid attending the Trail of Tears. I am sure that she was a member of the same tribe that Mildred Loving came from. I had heard that movie producers were looking at filming "The Lovings" at cousin Magg's old shack home.  I saw the movie and ran to my aunties and uncles with excitement. I asked them if they were going to see the movie at the theater.  The mood in the room suddenly changed.  The pain, anger, and hurt was prevalent in a way that I had never seen from my family before. hey said, "No, we aren't going to see it. We lived that nightmare!  We all remember what they did to that wonderful sweet family. We lived that life of having to sit in the back of everything. They ran that wonderful family out of their own home!" It was clear that the pain was raw and ever present.  They probably went to the one school with Mildred.  Suddenly, my aunts and uncles left the room in different directions. They had shut down and could not talk anymore.  The eldest was 83 and the youngest was 65 years old. I write you, to demonstrate how one black community and Native American community suffered the results of terror.  The KKK was active, the fires were real, and the threats were prevalent.  Not even a successful group of retired black aunts and uncles could avoid being taken back to the horrible memories.  This is why they left the room. Please consider that Black/Cherokee/ Rappahannock communities continue to suffer. My family and the 3 communities in Caroline County, Va suffered right along with the Lovings. This was in addition to many other acts of dehumanization.  My great, great, great black grandfather was forced to fight with his master in the Confederate Army.  Lee enjoyed whipping slaves until they were injured. Lee HS now has a Black Male tutoring/mentoring program that will lead the nation someday. Change the name so that some of the healing can be done with pride. Let's close some of the wounds in Virginia and begin to repair relationships!

I am in full support to change the name of Robert E. Lee High School.  I graduated from Robert E. Lee High School in 2007. I now reside in New Orleans, LA but visit Springfield often to see my family.  I am very proud to have graduated from the most diverse high school in the county.  We were able to spend our teenage years with people from all different backgrounds and nationalities.  Not only did we grow up together but we learned from each other.  The educators within the walls of this high school also helped me learn and grow, leading me to my career as a School Counselor.  The name on the outside of our school should represent the amazing students and educators within it.  As a School Counselor it is my job and ethical duty to create a program that “facilitates systemic changes of inequitable school policies and practices. Programming prioritizes eradicating institutional racism, sexism, heterosexism, classism, ableism, etc. in the school and community and supporting success for all students.”  One aspect of creating equality is using materials, books, videos, etc. that represent all students - not just white students. For students to engage in their academics, they need to see people that look like them.  Robert E. Lee does not represent someone who fought for equality and also does not represent the amazing diversity that is this high school.  Monuments and buildings erected and named after confederate figures took place when Jim Crow laws were being introduced and during the Civil Rights movements in an effort to change the narrative of the confederacy.  As the prior Mayor of New Orleans, Mitch Landrieu stated so well in regard to taking down a Robert E. Lee statue “...can you look into that young girls eyes and convince her that Robert E. Lee is there to encourage her? Do you think she will be hopeful and inspired by that story?” Does the name of our school help it’s students see a future of limitless potential? I can say with certainty that it does not and I hope you consider these questions when making your decision.  

 

I urge you to rename Robert E. Lee High School. Lee is, at best, a very complicated figure in our nation's and our Commonwealth's history. His military expertise--a gifted tactician and skillful strategist--for both the U.S. Army and the Confederate Army should be studied and emulated. His efforts to bring about reconciliation following the Civil War were important to influencing other former Confederates to reconcile peacefully.  But that aside, he did turn his back on our great nation, and joined an ignoble cause. The cause of the Confederacy was to perpetuate the institution of slavery. While slavery at anytime in history is a horrendous institution, slavery in the Americas was particularly despicable as it's protectors used racism to justify it's continued existence. This was more true (and more despicable) after our Founders justified their independence from Great Britain based on the claims that all men were made equal and all were endowed with the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. While Lee did not lead Virginia into the Confederacy, his support of it's secession represented his turning his back on the ideals laid out in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Other great Virginians, such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, George Mason, amongst many others, may have failed to live up to those ideals, but they envisioned a future when "all [persons] are created equal" and made steps (albeit incomplete) to achieve that. Lee's support of the Confederacy stands in direct opposition to that future. His efforts at reconciliation, while earnest, fell short of promoting racial equality, and are for what he is most or best remembered. Additionally, the naming of the school occurred at a time When Virginia was pushing back against desegregation and the Civil Rights movement. Maintaining the name at this point would represent Fairfax County pushing against the current and righteous movement for racial equality and justice. Let us move toward the ideals laid out in our Declaration of Independence, and not stand against that progress as Lee did in 1861 and as the namers of the school did in 1958.

It is about 50 years past due to change the name of this school. We live in one of the most diverse areas in the country yet we still glorify a man who helped lead a war to enslave people based on their skin color. It is beyond disgusting that it is the year 2020 and the school is still named that. I briefly attended Lee - the students nor the teachers admired the name. We were ridiculed by other schools for our “racist name”. A question we should also ask is why the school was named this during the the era of the civil rights movement? It is time to make a stand and change the name.  MAKE THIS COUNTY ACTUALLY VALUE DIVERSITY AS MUCH AS YOU ALL CLAIM YOU DO. 

As a lifelong resident of Fairfax County and a graduate of the FCPS system I was taught Virginia History and the noble southern cause which in hindsight was whitewashed propaganda.  Lee was a traitor to the very nation he pledged to protect and his real reason was based on misguided racism.  Pure and simple, nothing else but racism. Slightly changing the subject, my Dad came to Fairfax after serving in the US military, the military that defeated totalitarianism in WWII.  My Mom was from Europe and at the time they came here, Virginia was a segregated state.  She was shocked to see segregated bathrooms and water fountains, even on Federal property and of course the hypocrisy of our 'American ideas'. For this reason, it is time to rename Robert E. Lee HS for someone who actually defended the United States - anyone from Eisenhower to Grant to Omar Bradley to Sherman or to a Civil Rights leader, who were REAL American patriots, not real traitors. Please change the name!

Is complicated to rewrite history and more over to apply moral, ethical and politically correct standards of the 21th century to the 17th and 18th century. Most of our founding fathers, if not all, had slaves. James Madison, principal author of our Bill of Rights had slaves.Francis Scott Key the national anthem lyricist had slaves. George Mason, and Lord Fairfax also had slaves. I can go on and on naming more. In a nutshell people that had farms, plantations and wealth in the 17th and 18th century had slaves. I can not condone it,  but it was a fact. Are we going to change the name of our Nation's capital, tear down the Washington and Jefferson memorials, change the name of our County and of course George Mason and James Madison universities. With the industrial revolution, and growth of factories especially in the North, in the 17th and 18th century, children including under ten years old, were exploited in factories and worked more than 12 hours a day. Are we going to try to find out who owned the factories and try to erase their contribution to build up this nation? Where is it going to stop?

I am a 1981 graduate of Robert E. Lee High School, and I am writing in support of changing the name of the high school from Robert E. Lee High School so that it no longer in any way invokes the history of the confederacy.  As a white citizen of the United States I believe who the government honors by naming a building or putting up a statue is important and significant.   And so removing this name from the school, will tell the nation that the community no longer celebrates and honors those who rebelled against the lawful government and refused to abide by the results of elections.  Promotion of confederate generals as persons we honor sends the wrong message.  We should not honor those who fought for the right of states to allow slavery to continue.   To be honest, I am surprised that some people object to the removal of “Robert E.” being REMOVED from the official name.  Throughout my time at Lee High School, the spirit of the school was found not in a confederate general but in a medieval lancer.  We were the Lee Lancers and are traditions evoked the knights of the medieval era, not the confederacy. The cost of changing the name is expensive—but it will be money well spent because it will improve the learning conditions and environment of all students—and especially Black students.   It will improve the learning conditions of white students as well.  When white students study the civil war they will no longer be sent the message that their school seeks to honor those who enslaved others and fought for the right to do so. Please change the name.

I am a graduate of Robert E. Lee High School, class of 1993.  I want to join the many others in demanding that the name of the school be changed.  I felt welcomed, in my junior year, into the school community.  If even a single person is made to feel unwelcome by the name, then we need to change it.  

I am a member of the LHS class of 2010. During my time at LHS, I was a student government representative for three years and the school Vice President my senior year. My classmates and I worked tirelessly to elevate the LHS experience and to advocate for our peers. It was humiliating for me to have to represent a school named after a confederate general who fought for the preservation of slavery. As a Black Muslim woman, I could never wear the name of my alma mater with pride.  I feel ashamed to know how much work my black and brown peers and I did to uplift our school when the school board continues to dehumanize us. The fact that members of our community are still asking for the school board to consider renaming it in 2020 is unbelievable. The LHS mission statement claims to "connect school learning to students' future (relevance) and provide a safe, supportive, and nurturing environment (relationships). I feel enraged reading the mission statement knowing how completely contradictory giving legitimacy to white supremacist ideology is with culturally relevant teaching of a diverse student body. As an educator myself, I know the significance of creating a safe environment within a school setting and the impact a hostile environment can have on student achievement. I urge the board to please consider what messages you are intentionally sending to the students you serve when you honor a legacy of hatred and violence. I strongly urge you to rename LHS.

Consider “Lee District High School.”  Was that not the original name?

I am a mom living in Fairfax County and I have 2 children attending public schools. My opinion is that it would be best to not rename Robert E. Lee High School. I think we should keep the name.

The name hurts people. Change it. I’m a proud graduate of Lee from 1996. To my understanding we were voted, Best Racial Harmony in the district. Keep the harmony and change the name.

I would be fine with returning the name to Lee HS, named after the Lee District of VA. My understanding is that was the original name of the school. I’m not sure why the name was changed to Robert E. Lee. But I do know that the change was made around the same time as confederate monuments were being erected as a back lash to progress in civil rights. Even better would be choosing a totally new name. I love that the county renamed another FCPS HS Justice. How about Peace Academy? Or Equality HS?

I am disgusted that this hearing is still necessary, the name of the school should be immediately changed. Robert E. Lee was a monster, the atrocity of his legacy is readily available on Wikipedia. Why would you disrespect the legacy of the education of the students who attend that school? Who wants a diploma from a school named after a confederate slave owner? I implore you to change the name immediately.

I am a graduate of Lee High school. When I was a senior, at a school Fundraiser show...4 white boys from the football team performed in black face and won the lip syncing competition. I was livid. I was 17. It was 1987 and the school was racist.  There were black kids in the school then and we all hated the name and endured the racism of the time. I’ve never returned to any reunions and I hate that every time I must fill out a form to name where I went to high school I must put the name of a man who was a traitor, a sadistic torturer, who beat his slaves himself and ordered that his slaves be beaten brutally and then had his overseers pour brine into the wounds to increase the suffering.  Lee was a sadistic plantation owner who purposefully broke up families by who had been together on the same land  since the 1700’s by selling them away from one another. When his Northern Virginia army invaded Pennsylvania  they enslaved Free Black Americans and brought them back to the South as property.  In 1864 at the battle of Crater lees army massacred Black Union soldiers who tried to surrender. During reconstruction When Lee was president of Washington college students formed their own chapter of the Ku Klux Klan and were known by the Freedman’s Bureau to attempt to abduct and rape Black schoolgirls from the nearby black schools.  And there were at least 2 attempted lynchings. Lee was personally responsible for vast human suffering like Adolf Hitler was. His name should not be honoured. The school was renamed during the civil rights movement in the 1960’s to support white supremacy.  I wanted the school renamed in the 80’s when I was forced to go there after the boundaries changed. I was supposed to have gone to West Springfield.  No one listened. Change the name now.

I was delighted to read the June 18-24, 2020 Fairfax Connection’s article concerning the renaming process for Robert E. Lee High School.  IT IS ABOUT TIME! I attended Lee High School, graduating in 1967.  From the time that my parents moved to Springfield, Virginia, I wondered how a school came to be named for a West Point graduate that committed treason when he chose to lead an Army against the United States of America.  I did not send out graduation notices as I did not want my relatives to see the name of the school that I attended. I commend the actions of the school board to rid the county of a school name that does not reflect the underlying belief that this nation is dedicated to the idea of a democracy with a government of the people, by the people and for the people – ALL THE PEOPLE! I have lived in the Springfield area for more than fifty years, teaching in the Fairfax County School System for thirty- five years.  I am hoping that this name change is made soon as it will honor the diversity and values of the students that attend Lee High School, the students that attended Lee High School and those students that will be attending this school in the future.  

We understand that the likelihood of the renaming of Robert E. Lee High school appears imminent in the aftermath of the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and many other Black people in this country. Public pressure insists that lingering Confederate iconography be given a hard look, so that we, the people, can identify who is being honored, for what reasons, and what impact it has on the community and our values. This letter contains no suggestions for possible names, nor much additional pressure for the renaming, as we are assured that the name will be changed in the near future. However, we would like to advise you on how you go about renaming the school. A common misunderstanding by those who do not wish to rename schools and streets named after the people of the Confederacy or who are against the removal of Confederate statues and monuments is that the proponents have a desire to rewrite history. This could not be further from the truth. Rather, we would like to reassess the narrative victory that the American south has taken following the fall of the Confederacy and ensure that when we remember this history of the Confederacy, we are doing so with a fuller truth than the hagiographic statues, memorials, and honors currently do. This is why we wish that you do not rename the high school and call it a day. We want there to be a full acknowledgement of the school’s history, so that future students can know both where it came from, and also why we chose to make this positive change for their experiences. Here is a sample text of what the school could adopt to explain to students and faculty a brief history of the school and why its name was changed.  “_____ High School was named Lee High School from its founding in 1958 until it’s renaming to Robert E. Lee High school in 1964. 1. The name Lee High School was adapted from the political district’s name. Lee District was known as the Fifth District until the 1950s, and may have been named for the Confederate cavalry general, Fitzhugh Lee, nephew of Robert E. Lee. 2,3. The naming and renaming of places after members of the Confederacy in the 1950s and 1960s was done in backlash to the Civil Rights movement of the time. 4. ______ High School kept the name Robert E. Lee High School until 2020, when the momentum of a new wave of the civil rights movement known as Black Lives Matter was mounting. Black Lives Matter was founded in 2013 as a response to the murders of unarmed Black people in the 2010s, many of which were caught on camera phones leading to public outcry for social and systemic change5. The glorification of the Confederacy during Jim Crow (1877-1950s) was one of many issues the public wished to redress, leading Fairfax County to rise to the call and rename ______ High School 6.”The text should then go on to explain the merits of whom the County decides to rename the school for and why this person was a person more worthy of glorification than a Confederate general. We believe it’s important to include everything included in this sample. The inclusion of Black Lives Matter gives truthful context for why this change happened when it did and why this period of time has led to the removal and renaming of so many Confederate monuments and the like. It is just as important for this era to be named for what it is as the Civil Rights era and Jim Crow be named for what they were.     This information should be easily accessible in at least one very public location of the school, as well as online. Online, there should be links to additional resources for kids to learn more about these moments of history. We understand if there’s hesitation to include anything about Black Lives Matter, as the movement is seen as controversial to some and confusing to many. However, it is important to remember that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was reviled in his time. He was tracked by the FBI and, of course, assassinated. He was not the much-beloved figure that we are currently teaching our kids about in FCPS schools. The Civil Rights movement of the ‘60s was controversial too, and many systems of power wanted no part in it or refused to take a side. We urge that FCPS not make those same mistakes and, at the very least, name Black Lives Matter in this statement, giving it its truthful place in history and in the renaming of this school. Like it or not, it’s unlikely that the County would be making this positive, transformative decision right now were it not for the Black Lives Matter movement. So, we suggest the text be somewhere in the entry to the school, either inside or outside, but other public locations such as the gymnasium or the cafeteria would also be worthwhile candidates.     We understand this change is a hard one, both to enact and to do correctly under such a high degree of social pressure. But this is a legacy of a school whose name has been changed before. This is the legacy of a school that names diversity as a merit in the second sentence of its school history on the website. The only way to honor the school’s mission statement about being safe, supporting, nurturing, and connecting school learning to students’ futures7 is to be transparent about the school’s history and the context of the moment of meaningful change that we’re all living in today in 2020. Thank you for reading and we’re eager to find out who the school will choose to honor from now on. 

Sources:

  1. https://leehs.fcps.edu/about/school-history
  2. http://www.leedistrict.org/uploads/1/1/0/2/110232825/district_history.pdf
  3. https://wtop.com/fairfax-county/2019/03/fairfax-county-quietly-changes-confederate-park-names/
  4. https://www.history.com/news/how-the-u-s-got-so-many-confederate-monuments
  5. https://blacklivesmatter.com/about/
  6. https://www.britannica.com/event/Jim-Crow-law
  7. https://leehs.fcps.edu/about

 

I would like to lend input to the discussion regarding the renaming of Robert E Lee High school.  I graduated in 1997 and attended college at Virginia Tech. I also served as an active duty Army Officer during Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom. I am a current Springfield resident with a child in the FCPS system. When I first heard about this discussion I had mixed feelings about changing the name.  It is my opinion after reading through the commentary and in light of current events that change is needed despite the cost. I agree that costs will need to be offset by fund raising and donations. This would be a great way for students to lead the effort.  I support maintaining the school colors and the mascot for that purpose. It also upholds some of the history of the school while allowing for needed change.  A gradual phasing out of the name to help spread costs and should be considered. Funding priorities should be going to teachers pay and school programs first with cosmetic and other changes happening over time. Recommendations for a new name I would put up for consideration:  1.) Franconia High School (a name recommended when the school was first built) African American Women pioneers: 2.) Hazel Brown High School (The first African American female Army General and Chief US Army Nursing Corps and skilled surgeon.) 3.) Virginia Randolph HS (African American teaching pioneer from Virginia) A Medal of Honor recipient: 4.) Wesley Fox High School (Virginia born USMC Medal of Honor recipient from Vietnam)

I wanted to provide the link below to a petition asking the board to leave our school’s name unchanged. At the time of this email it’s been signed by 717 Lancers. The petition also contains many insightful comments. Understanding that the board’s collective mind has probably already been made up to change the name and the hearing is merely a formality, I ask you to review the petition with an open mind. https://www.ipetitions.com/petition/lancers

It is my understanding that a proposal to rename Robert E. Lee High School is under consideration by the Fairfax County School Board. I would like to express my support for renaming this school. This name was never appropriate and has remained for far too long. While no school should carry the name of a Confederate general, it is particularly upsetting that a school with such a diverse student body continues to celebrate such a horrific time in our history. As a graduate of the class of 2000, I am always embarrassed to say the name of the high school that I attended when asked by others. I am ashamed now that it has taken me 20 years from my graduation to publicly support action towards the removal of this offensive name.  Please support the renaming of Robert E. Lee High School.

I wanted to share my opinion that I am in favor of renaming Lee High School for the below reasons:  Segregation of public schools was declared unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1954. The remaining Jim Crow laws were overruled by the Civil Rights Act in 1964 and the Voting Rights Act in 1965. Lee High school was created and named in Fairfax County in 1958 and by 1964 the school's name was officially changed to Robert E. Lee High school. The school was created and named in the midst of the above mentioned event from 1954 to 1965.  The timing strongly suggests the name was not in honor of a confederate general, but rather in response to the civil rights movement happening at the time.  This is pretty transparent and is nothing to be proud of.  (https://leehs.fcps.edu/about/school-history)  Since the 2015 massacre at the Emanuel A.M.E. Church, 37 schools honoring Confederate icons have changed their names. In 2018, the school board in Richmond, VA changed the city's only school named after a Confederate general to Barack Obama Elementary.  If Richmond, the capital of the confederacy, can do it so can we.  Our state has been making these changes for years, let's not fall even further behind.  Does Fairfax really want to be known for dragging its feet to a change that is ultimately inevitable?   (https://www.history.com/news/confederate-school-names-changing) What's more important, holding on to the past or creating an educational environment that promotes diversity and doesn't make minorities feel uncomfortable?  If the cost of making young black students feel included is the surely temporary hurt feelings of a few white adults with a death grip on honoring the confederacy, I think the choice is clear.

As an alumna of Lee High School, I strongly urge the school board to proceed with changing LHS's name. This community wants all students to be proud of their school, to be inspired to want to learn, and to be encouraged to become the best versions of themselves as they grow into young adults. I do not believe LHS's current name has the power to inspire pride in its diverse student body. I believe the current name is a lasting symbol of a history of oppression. Some people argue that a name change is a waste of resources and does not have meaning. This apathetic perspective discounts the strong signals young people get from the institutions that are teaching them and nurturing them. For students who are trying to make sense of current events, choosing to keep the school's current name can actively decrease pride and morale among its students. I also strongly reject the notion that removing Robert E. Lee from the school's name is an erasure of history. I cannot imagine how a name change will affect any student's ability to learn about Robert E. Lee or the Civil War. I believe a name change actually encourages students to engage more with history. A name change would give teachers and students an opportunity to have dialogues about the persistent legacy of slavery and the Civil War, and how history impacts the present. A name change also gives students and teachers the opportunity to have meaningful discussions about why Confederate monuments were built in public squares, and why institutions like LHS were named after Confederate generals during the Civil Rights Movement, long after the Civil War had ended.  A name change for LHS is an opportunity for its students to have renewed pride in their school, and would send a message that the county values the dignity of each student. For decades, LHS has been gifted with a wonderfully diverse student body. It is one of the things I value most about my high school experience, and I believe it is one of the things that is preparing the school's current students for the world. A name change would honor the diversity of the students and their future.

I am a long-time resident of Fairfax County, and a graduate of Thomas Jefferson HS. I disagree with the idea of re-naming Lee HS. At Jefferson, I learned about the Cold War, about communism and the Cultural Revolution, about Stalinist and Maoist oppression, and the prophetic words of George Orwell and Ray Bradbury. As a patriotic American, I urge you to resist the succession of communism into our society. Let us not begin destroying statues, burning books, defacing monuments, and re-writing history. This is the strategy employed by oppressive, reactionary political movements throughout history. It is a means to control the population by eliminating dissent, free expression, debate, and ultimately all personal liberty. Let us not allow the permanent loss of our hard-won freedoms...and please, let us not fight the Civil War again here in Fairfax County.

I have read through comments from the March meeting on this topic and I think the case was pretty well made as to why the name of this school needs to be changed. It is not to revise history, or try and be politically correct. This is about doing the right thing and fixing a problem that politicians in Virginia created during the Civil Rights Movement as a direct reaction to growing public and legal support for racial equality. This is a critical point in why this school should be renamed. In the 1950s on the heels of Brown vs. the Board of Education ruling to de-segregate schools throughout the United States, the political control in Virginia (and Fairfax County) was not supportive of de-segregation. Fueled by pro-segregationist agendas, the Fairfax County school board intentionally named the next two high schools being constructed in the county after Confederate leaders. (Stuart and Lee) Therefore the roots of this school and its naming trace back to being born from vindictiveness and a continued way to intimidate minorities although de-segregation was the new law of the land. This alone should be cause to rename the school to something more positive for the community. However, if not I will also point out the most obvious fact at play – Robert E. Lee graduated from West Point and swore an oath to the United States Constitution. By taking up arms and leading a rebellion against the United States from 1861-1865, he became a traitor to the United States, the very definition of treason. I don’t know why we’d want to honor any person that committed treason against the United States. Even in post war although Lee was supportive of the US Government, he continued to oppose giving freedman blacks the right to vote. Finally, Lee himself opposed public memorials to the Confederate rebellion and honoring of Confederate leaders on the grounds that it would prevent the healing of wounds inflicted during the war. Yet here we are, over 150 years later dealing with continued wounds from that time period. The time has come for Fairfax County to make the correct choice to rename Robert E. Lee high school, just as it did for Stuart high school. The two schools should have been renamed at the same time since they were both originally named together out of malice. However, it is never too late to make the correct choice and get this done to improve our community. In regards to the new name, I don’t think we have time for the arguments of new names for months/years on end to pick a new politically correct name. If it was my decision, I’d take a vote to name it Franconia, Springfield, Central Springfield, or Franconia-Springfield HS to reflect its physical location and end the debate so the school and community can have a fresh start for the 2020-21 school year.

As a parent to 3 within FCPS, I’ve always enjoyed the districts commitment to diversity. I appreciate that communication is available in so many languages for example. But to ignore that the Civil War wasn’t centered around slaves and to celebrate one of their- technically- traitor leaders is no longer necessary. We can and must move our country forward and recognize that we are past the Civil War - and yet that trauma and blight on our country remains. I believe it remains because we (especially us in the pseudo south!) are afraid. But it is time.

Rename Lee HS. Refuse to believe that this powerful, white, traitor who had ties to this land is worth a lifetime of pain and confusion for our children.

I wholeheartedly believe that a renaming is essential for the continue growth of our communities. While Lee may have had great qualities, he simply is on the wrong side of history. Any contradiction to that is simply stronger ties to white supremacy than our current need for acceptance. It is time for FCPS to be on the right side of history too.

I am the lead school counselor at Key Middle School in FCPS, all of our students go to Lee. The name of Lee HS is not representative of the values our community holds and the diversity represented in the student body. I believe it is traumatic for BIPOC students to attend a school with the name of a leader that wished to uphold a system that enslaved and oppressed them. In my personal experience, when students realize what “Lee” stands for, they are confused, hurt, and angry. We owe it to our students and community to eradicate the name of Lee HS.

No need to change the name! Tell everyone that the school is named for Geddy Lee, only the greatest rock bassist in the whole world! Kids will be proud to attend!!!

I am a graduate and proud alumni of Robert E. Lee High School in Virginia.  I am saddened to hear that the county is considering the changing of the name of the school because of the opinions of a few youth.  While I understand the importance of wanting the young to get involved in the governing processes of this country and to learn to speak their voices I think it is just as important to educate them on the not only the importance of history but the character of the people who have served it. It is also important that we teach them to do their research.  Robert E. Lee, was a Confederate solider, yes.  But is that all they know?  There are so many other aspects of the man which led to honoring him in the first place.  Should we then presume to erase all of our history?  George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and many other leaders of the 'free world' were slave owners - do we dismiss their relevance in our national history because someone disagrees they are worthy of the praise?  Do we exhume Lee's body from the hill in DC where he rests next to JFK next?  As an educational institution there is a fine line being walked and feels a bit political in nature instead of educational.  Have these students researched the man who they are quick to dismiss?   Robert E. Lee embodied many of the qualities we value in America - family, hard work, dedication to country, education.  He went on to help heal a nation by educating others.  As a U.S. Army colonel in Texas during the secession crises of late 1860, he wrote, “[If] strife and civil war are to take the place of brotherly love and kindness, I shall mourn for my country and for the welfare and progress of mankind.”  IF we do not teach our children about process, research, cause and effect and we let them believe they can just get loud and that will make change what will they have learned?  What is the objective and expected learning outcome of this very expensive endeavor?  While change can be good and is sometimes essential, is should not come without true understanding, clear direction, logic and rationale and some appreciate for the past.  I'd be asking each of the students who feel strongly about it to do a full research paper on the life and person they are so quickly dismissing - frankly that should have been done before it ever got this far.

With the social climate we are in now we would like for our youth to feel welcomed and inclusive to our schools in our communities.  Everyone hears and sees what’s going on in the nation, imagine how this is mentally affecting our students.  Please, I encourage you to change the name of the high school to better reflect the society we are living in today.  We do not want to erase history, however we would like a name that embodies our community as a whole. 

Regrettably, FCSB is not focusing on what they were elected to do - the telos being student achievement.  FCSB should be focusing on the means to attain student achievement.  Right now that means full-time fall classes, keeping the budget in line, and student achievement. FCBS is once again focusing on pet Progressive policies, namely renaming Robert E. Lee High School.  If FCSB were on track with plans for this fall, staying within budget, and there weren’t large gaps in minority achievement, then, and only then, should you consider renaming schools. Here is what FDSB should be focusing on:  Math and reading scores plummeted in Virginia Liberalism causes achievement gaps Minority Student Achievement Oversight Committee detailed disparities in hiring, student discipline and access to advanced courses in the nearly 188,000-student school system. I think we need to look at some facts: Black Lives Matter is a shell company for Democrat fundraising. OpenSecrets - Top Vendors in Campaign Expenditures are all Democrat nominees. Derek Chauvin racked up 17 complaints in 19 years. Yet he remained on the force.  “Virtually every official in Minnesota with influence over the Minneapolis police and the decision to keep Derek Chauvin on the force despite his alarming record is a Democrat: the governor, the attorney general, the Minneapolis congresswoman and the mayor. The city council consists of 12 Democrats and a Green Party member. The Democrat Party is the “system” that protected the bad cop and led to George Floyd’s death.”  In addition, there is currently an increase in scrutiny of unions protecting bad cops. Several reports and their statistics about police violence and race do not align with the current narrative. Stating that the few cases of alleged child abuse in FCPS schools is systemic is not true.  A few cases does not equate to a systemic issue.  There is similarly a myth of systemic police racism. FCSB has known for years that minorities are under-performing.  There needs to be a focus on these students in these areas so that the school board can literally demonstrate that the achievement of these students do matter.  

I am a Fairfax County resident right here in Franconia and pass by Lee High School on my way to work each morning. While my kids will not attend Lee High School (they are in Franconia Elementary), I wholeheartedly support the effort to rename this school. I reject the fundamentally flawed idea held by many Americans - including dear friends of mine - that removing symbols glorifying the Confederacy and Confederate figures from public spaces equates to “erasing” our southern heritage. I understand the complexity of approaching historical figures who were, at some level, products of their time (many, many white Americans fighting for the Union were racist as well). I’m not saying Lee and everyone associated with the Confederacy was racist and evil - though let’s be clear, many were. I’m saying the legacy of the Confederacy and those who fought in its defense were (literally) committing treason against the United States and their legacy is intrinsically linked to an effort to uphold the institution of slavery. We don’t need to vilify them, but we also don’t need to glorify them. Let’s set that bar for “we’ll name a school in your honor” a little higher than “well, you may be a traitor who fought against our country to preserve slavery but we know you were generally a respectable guy.” There are many, many Virginian American men and women who deserve to be honored for their legacy and achievements more than Robert E Lee.

As a 1967 graduate of Robert E. Lee, I am writing to promote James England as the new name of the school.  He was a long term coach and athletic director at Lee who, unfortunately, died at a rather young age.  I remember him well as a highly dedicated and honest man whose primary objectives were always to teach and inspire students to learn and succeed at a very high level.  Honesty was always high on his list to teach and role model to his students. Picking James England's name would recognize his strong efforts for student excellence while he was a member of the Robert E. Lee staff.  Thank you in advance for your consideration of the James England High School.

I’m a parent of 1 current FCPS student and the husband of an FCPS employee and feel strongly the name of Robert E Lee High is completely inappropriate.  There is no debate this name was selected to send a message, during the Civil Rights Movement and done by a segregationist school board.  Their horrible racist message is still being reverberating in 2020.  It is absolutely insane to me that there is any debate as to whether or not this school needs to be renamed.  Robert E Lee led a rebellion to break apart the United States in order to keep Black people as slaves.  There is no debate over that.  We are honoring that?  And this isn’t the same as honoring a founding father, who we honored for their works not related to owning slaves.  We don’t celebrate that, we celebrate them in part because they setup a country to eliminate slavery.  The honoring of Robert E Lee is specifically because of his support of slavery and his fight for that cause alone.  The choice to name this school after him during Civil Rights, is not justifiable. It is morally wrong.     

Ladies and Gentlemen:I propose that the school be renamed Ely Parker High School, after the officer who served as General Grant's military secretary and aide at Appomattox.  https://www.alexandriava.gov/historic/fortward/default.aspx?id=40164 In an interesting twist of history, General Ely S. Parker, a member of the Seneca tribe, drew up the articles of surrender which General Robert E. Lee signed at Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865. Gen. Parker, who served as Gen. Ulysses S. Grant's military secretary and was a trained attorney, was once rejected for Union military service because of his race. At Appomattox, Lee is said to have remarked to Parker, "I am glad to see one real American here," to which Parker replied, "We are all Americans."

Where are you getting funds to rename Lee? The school system has a $70million dollar shortfall. Don’t depend on pledges like Stuart HS and then people reneged on their promise.  Leave the name as it is.

I am emailing in regards to the renaming of Lee High School. I am currently a teacher at Glasgow Middle School and finished my second year teaching for FCPS. I would like to express my sincere and urgent request to rename Robert E. Lee High School. Upholding Confederate Army leaders through monuments or naming of public institutions are the most obvious and literal signs of systemic racism in the United States and are harmful to our schools and families. Robert E. Lee's participation in the Confederacy as well as his own views are antithetical to FCPS's Mission and Vision. FCPS's mission statement says, "Fairfax County Public Schools inspires and empowers students to meet high academic standards, lead healthy, ethical lives, and be responsible and innovative global citizens." In order to live up to leading ethical lives and being responsible global citizens, FCPS should not continue to keep the names of confederate leaders for our schools, including Robert E. Lee.  Naming schools and monuments after leaders who upheld slavery pretends to preserve history and upholds White supremacy in our county. It reinforces and praises the mindsets of the Confederate Army, who held firm beliefs in protecting slavery and the denigration of Black people. "FCPS values its diversity and acknowledges that all people contribute to the well-being of the community." This vision is important and we should recognize that in order to make long-term change, we must speak out against the overt examples of racism in our community, including the very visible naming of public spaces. From a practical but certainly secondary viewpoint, the renaming of Lee High School can follow the similar process that Justice High School employed. Although this is a difficult process that requires time, resources, funding, and further discussion/debate, it is extremely important. A personal example of the impact of changing a school name happened several times in my classroom during the past two years. As a teacher at Glasgow Middle School, many of my students have questioned the reasons behind changing the name of Justice High School, as we are one of their feeder middle schools. As a classroom community, we were able to have many discussions about the importance of educating ourselves about our country's history and addressing the tremendous impact of racism in the present and future. This opened up meaningful and productive conversations with my students. Again, I write this to express my deep care and concern for our community and urge the Fairfax County School Board to take action to change the name of Robert E. Lee High School.  

I support changing the name of Robert E. Lee High School. My child attends school in the Woodson pyramid, but as an FCPS parent I'd like the school system to continue to move away from celebrating Confederate generals. Thank you for taking input from the community.

I write to enthusiastically support the renaming of Robert E Lee High School. There is no room in this country to honor anything to do with the Confederacy - this initiative is long overdue. 

FCPS needs to focus on education and stop spending money and time on issues that do not directly impact student learning. Additionally, in light of the recent disaster with distance learning, and the cut in the funding transfer from the County, it seems like there are of plenty better uses for monies related to a name change. Uses which could provide an immediate benefit to the students or staff. Has the Board recently examined the quality of education and test scores at Robert E. Lee High School?  Do we plan on re-writing history in total rather than educating people to avoid repeating it? Is Fairfax County going to change its name to avoid honoring slave holder Lord Fairfax? Will the Democrat party change its name in shame for its segregationist past? If there is a statement to be made, it is not done in erasing history with this renaming action (or waste of time and money of these pro-forma hearings when the decision is most likely already made). The schools would be better served by a statement made with the current School Board and Administration resigning as a result of the complete failure to maintain an updated IT infrastructure, failure to have disaster planning in place and allowing schools to continuously move away from basic education. There should be no school name changes in the County until FCPS can allow all of its schools to excel in academics.

I fully support the renaming of Robert E. Lee High School.  Educational institutions should we welcoming to all students of all backgrounds, and it's clear that a Confederate General fighting on the side of slavery isn't the right namesake to embody that.  An important point to remember is that there is a cost to inaction: it grants implicit acceptance to those ideals. On a separate note: a big THANK YOU to FCPS administrators and faculty doing their best under challenging circumstances these past few months and in the months ahead.  While nothing is perfect, we see the effort and desire to improve from all levels, and that's all you can ask for.

Lee High School name change recommendation Maj. General Henry Lee, III “Light Horse Harry”(1759 – 1818) Governor, 9th Governor of Virginia (1791-1794); Lieut. Col. in 1st Cont. Light Dragoons, Maj General Harry "Light Horse" Lee of Revolutionary War fame, 9th Governor of Virginia, Maj. General, Politician and Soldier, Governor of Virginia Lee graduated from The College of New Jersey (now Princeton University) in 1773, and began pursuing a legal career. With the outbreak of the Revolutionary War, he became a Captain in a Virginia dragoon detachment, which was attached to the 1st Continental Light Dragoons. In 1778, Lee was promoted to Major and given the command of a mixed corps of cavalry and infantry known as Lee's Legion; with which he won a great reputation as a leader of light troops. It was during his time as commander of the Legion that Lee earned the sobriquet of "Light Horse Harry" for his horsemanship. Lee was presented a gold medal–a reward given to no other officer below a general's rank–for the Legion's actions during the Battle of Paulus Hook in New Jersey, on 19 August 1779. Lee was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and was assigned with his Legion to the southern theater of war. Here he rendered invaluable services in victory and defeat, notably at Guilford Court House, Camden and Eutaw Springs. He was present at Cornwallis's surrender at Yorktown but left the Army shortly after, due to an illness. During the infamous Whiskey Rebellion, Lee commanded the 13,000 militiamen sent to quash the rebels From 1786 to 1788, Lee was a delegate to the Continental Congress, and in the last-named year in the Virginia convention, he favored the adoption of the United States Constitution. From 1789 to 1791, he served in the General Assembly and, from 1791 to 1794, was Governor of Virginia. In 1794, Lee accompanied Washington to help in the suppression of the Whiskey Rebellion in western Pennsylvania. A new county of Virginia was named after him during his governorship. Henry Lee was a major general in the U.S. Army in 1798–1800. From 1799 to 1801, he served in the United States House of Representatives of the Congress. He wrote the famous phrase used by John Marshall in the address to Congress on the death of Washington—"first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen." Justification: The above description of him as a founding father of Virginia and the United States with military service in the American revolution and representing the state as a Virginian Congressman and Governor justifies changing the school’s name to honor him. From a practical and fiscally responsible course of action, the costs for the name change would be minimized.

I would like to suggest that the school be renamed for an Virginian African American female civil rights leader, Barbara Rose Johns Powell High School:  Description - Barbara Rose Johns Powell was a young, American civil rights leader-pioneer and the niece of one of the "fathers of the Civil Rights Movement," Vernon Johns. On April 23, 1951, at the age of 16, Powell led a student strike for equal education at R.R. Moton High School in Farmville, Prince Edward County, Virginia.

With the recent online learning disaster in the 2019-2020 4th quarter and lack of solid plans for the 2020-2021 school year in light of the COVID situation, I can’t believe that FCPS is prioritizing renaming schools over much more serious needs.  There is no focus on quality education anymore in this school district. How does renaming a school right now help our children with their education and getting back on track with their learning that was impacted by COIVD? It seems that resources/funding could be better spent on many other things that would make a much more significant impact in the lives of our children who have not had their educational needs met since mid-March 2020.

Renaming schools is an expensive undertaking.  If renaming a school is a priority, please do not name the school after a person or place.  It is impossible to know if people or places will become controversial at some future time.  My recommendation is to only name schools after numbers, ie, School #3.  This will help minimize the chance that schools will need to be renamed again in the future due to new evidence that comes to light or changing societal values. Please only give schools a number and not a name.

I graduated from Lee back in 2010 and the further I am from then, the odder I feel when the name of my high school comes up. I understand the value of knowing one’s past and I certainly don’t want us to forget our shortcomings as a nation, but we name things to memorialize, in hopes that the character and spirit will carry on and inspire others. The time has come to find a more deserving historical figure than Robert E. Lee. Someone that students are comfortable, if not proud to say the name of when speaking of their past.

I am a 1993 graduate of R.E. Lee High School. I absolutely think that this school should be renamed. I moved to Virginia from New Jersey in 1986 and even then, the school name made my white family cringe. I can only imagine the response of people of color today. I truly believe the values of Robert E Lee are not the values of Springfield today. And please, don't name the school after another person. Location names are best.

I am a Robert E Lee High School alumni from the Class of 2011. I am reaching out to you with regard to the discussion of changing the name of the high school.  When I think back to my high school days, I think of countless positive memories. Having moved only one year prior from South Carolina to Virginia, I was still experiencing a huge culture shock (in a good way). I had never experienced being around so many different people from so many different cultures, ethnicities, religions and backgrounds. Attending Robert E Lee High provided me with the opportunity to learn a great deal from my peers and faculty members through our interactions and their stories.  The biggest issue that had/has stained my high school experience, till this very day, is that I attended a school named after a commander of the confederate state army during the Civil War. For a school that homes such a diverse group of students and staff, it is mind blowing to me that we have let the name of this school last this long. It is a disgrace to continue to honor the name of a man who fought to keep the injustices that we are still fighting to get rid of today. I urge the school board members and superintendent to take changing the school name very seriously as small changes that are made, such as removing statues or changing names of schools, speaks volumes. 

As a long-time resident of Fairfax County, I fully support changing the name of Robert E. Lee High School to something that does not honor that which was not honorable - namely the cause of the Confederacy.  

I support renaming Robert E. Lee High School.  Others can argue about the history better than I can.  I simply want to say as a person of color living in the neighborhood, with two school age children in the Lee pyramid, every time I pass by the school and read the sign it pricks my heart.  When I go there to vote, I think about the irony of voting in a place named after a man who, if he had succeeded, would have made it impossible for me or my children to every vote. Please rename the school.  Schools should be named after people and ideas that we aspire to, people we would like our children to emulate.  We all agree that oppressing and enslaving people is wrong.  So why are we celebrating and elevating someone who oppressed and enslaved people?  Do we want our children to aspire to Robert E. Lee's values?  Do we want, even implicitly to give our children the impression that someone who enslaved others is a hero to be emulated? No. Please rename the school. P.S. As a suggestion to help offset the cost - friends of mine who attended Justice High School when it was still called JEB Stuart have mentioned to me that they would be willing to pay $100 to have their diplomas re-issued with the new name.  Perhaps that is a service that could be offered to former alumni from Robert E. Lee and JEB Stuart. 

I attended and graduated from Lee high school in the 90s. What about naming it Franconia High School? The mascot could be "freedom fighters". 

I agree that the school’s name should be changed to something neutral. Another figure in history would only create more controversy. However, I do not have any name suggestions at the moment.

I have a suggestion for renaming Lee High School that would minimize costs. Instead of Robert E Lee, rename it for Richard Henry Lee - A Founding Father from Virginia best known for the June 1776 Lee Resolution, the motion in the Second Continental Congress calling for the colonies' independence from Great Britain leading to the United States Declaration of Independence. Without this resolution, the United States may never have formed. This removes the Confederate association with the name and redirects the focus to the vital role Virginia played in the creation of the United States of America.  Any reference to the school as simply Lee HIgh School could remain, thus saving costs for changing the name. 

I hope that the Lee HS Administration votes for a name change. As a 1966 graduate and raising my 2 children in Springfield who also graduated from Lee HS, I feel it’s appropriate to have a name we can be proud of. Not a name glorifying a lost cause like slavery. We owe this to future students. Lee is a great school and gave me, my two kids and my nephew a great education!

Even though I am no longer a resident of Fairfax County, I was one of the original students to attend Lee High School graduating in 1962.  I do not know if other members of the student body considered the name of Lee High School referring to General Robert E. Lee.  I can only answer for myself that during my student years I did not ever relate that name being selected to honor Robert E. Lee. Obviously, in 1964, the Fairfax School Board members at that time felt that the name should be changed to Robert E. Lee High School in memory of Gen. Robert E. Lee.  During the more than 50 plus years, I wonder how many students have been adversely effect by attending a high school with this name that would make a name change necessary. However, recognizing that the political climate has changed significantly over that period of time,  it may be appropriate to eliminate any perceived discrimination that the name invokes to the current and future students. If the Fairfax School Board votes to make a name change, I personally would like to see it just revert to the school's original name, Lee High School, with the continuation of it's mascot name and colors.  If that is not an option, then I would strongly recommend that the name be changed to something simple like Springfield High School.  If the school name was changed to memorialize another person, whoever it would be, there very well could  be a portion of the student body that could be offended by that person and, likewise, feel discriminated against. Obviously, I am not familiar with the current population with regards to race or gender,  but it is imperative that the School Board's decision be made in a reasonable and responsible manner and not because of the current political division within this country.

I am  1971 graduate of Lee High School and I support the idea of renaming it.  I cannot believe renaming has taken so long to become seriously considered.  As an adult, I have been embarrassed to admit that I was a graduate of a school honoring such a historically wrong headed general. As a student, my history teacher insisted the primary cause of the Civil War was "states rights" and we all knew differently. It is time to move to the right side of history and stop honoring traitors and generals who fought to divide our country.  Lee understood this, and retired to a quiet life.  He did not want recognition and his modern day descendents confirm this publicly. Choosing a different, more honorable "Lee" is a bit of a sleight of hand, but not a bad idea.  Many Lee graduates lived in areas other than Franconia, so perhaps a different place name is more representative. Perhaps the current student body would like to be engaged with the name search.

I am so glad to learn that you are finally considering changing the name of Robert E. Lee High School. I am a 2001 graduate of Lee High School. Over the years I’ve signed a couple petitions in favor of changing the name of the school, one of which has over 2,000 signatures and is viewable at this link: https://www.change.org/p/fairfax-county-school-board-change-the-name-of-robert-e-lee-high-school-in-springfield-va  It's been a disappointment to so many of my former classmates that efforts to change the name have been unsuccessful in past years.  I am a nurse practitioner in Albuquerque, NM, and have had a really rich and fulfilling career in public health and health care. I got a great education in Fairfax County and was lucky enough to go to school with a diverse and impressive student population. The name of my high school, though, is such an embarrassment. I never put the full name of Lee High School on applications, as it represents so many values I’ve tried to work against in providing health care to underserved and marginalized populations. It’s also so unfair to expect students of color to attend school and do good work under a banner with that name and all it represents. The school board should have changed the name of Lee High School years and years ago. Thank you for considering it now, and please make a decision that respects the students who go to that school every day. 

I grew up in Springfield, graduated from GMU in 1990 with a history degree. As for naming a high school or anything else after him, I find it an affront to hundreds of thousands of Union soldiers and enslaved African-Americans against whom he fought. The most fitting monument to Lee is the national military cemetery the federal government placed on the grounds of his former home in Arlington.

I’m a Grad of 91- my Dad and mom were 65/66 my brother 88 and my cousin 92. The name of my high school has always been an embarrassment to me even though I loved my school. Please change it. I’m suggesting Lincoln High. Lincoln Lancers!

As an alumni of Robert E Lee (Class of 1974) I am writing to support renaming my alma mater. I would strongly recommend renaming the school in honor of George H Thomas. A native Virginian and West Point graduate, Thomas stayed loyal to the Union and the Old Flag when Virginia seceded. Thomas made the decision the Lee, Jackson, Stuart, and many other Virginians should have made. Thomas rose to high rank and distinction. Thomas commanded the XIV Corps at the Battle of Chickamauga where his gallant rearguard action saved the rest of the Army of the Cumberland.  This action earned Thomas the nickname “The Rock of Chickamauga.”  Later in command of the the Army of the Cumberland (which had a large number of African -American soldiers)Thomas largely destroyed the Confederate Army of Tennessee, then commanded by John Hood.  Thomas, along with Grant, Sherman, and Sheridan, is considered a primary author of the defeat of the Confederacy.  As we enter this time of transition and bury the historiography of the “Lost Cause”, people will accuse our institutions of whitewashing Virginia’s history and the history of the Civil War. By commemorating, Thomas we can show that Virginia’s history is more than a history of racism and treason.

(I am) alumni Class of 88. I am writing about the name change of Lee High school. I fully support the decision and have the perfect name. FRANK H. ELLIOTT HIGH SCHOOL. He was admired by the entire school. I was privileged to have known him since the 1st day of Freshman year to being handed the diploma and celebrating his retirement on the 30th anniversary of Lee. There is a ton more I can say but please see attached pictures. 

I did some of my student teaching many years ago at Lee High School. I always thought Clara Barton High School would be a wonderful name, especially with her ties to Fairfax.

As a 1986 graduate of Robert E Lee High School, I would first like to say that I am against renaming the school. I don’t think we should erase history but rather learn from it. However, I understand the sensitivity of such issues in today’s world. Some smaller concessions could mean more to others on a grander scale than to my nostalgia. So if you are going to rename the school, the best proposal that I have come across is “Frank H Elliott High School”. I remember Principal Elliott rather fondly, although his memories of me may have caused him angst. We spent a good deal of time together towards the end of my senior year.

As residents of Lee District who vote at this school, my wife Mary and I wanted to voice our full support for the name change. We’re all aware of the implications of carrying the current name forward, what it represents, and how honoring the confederacy with building names and monuments has long been used as a means of intimidation. In no way do those people represent our values as a state, and as a nation today. As a 7th generation veteran my family came to Virginia in 1772, and fought for Virginia during the American Revolution. That was a cause worth fighting for, but slavery and secession from the United States most certainly were not. They later moved into DC and eventually fought for the Union during the Civil War. It’s time for Virginia to finally stop honoring a dishonorable, brutal legacy of intimidation against against people of color in this state. Virginia has come a long way from that dark history but there’s still work to be done. I’m sure that there are plenty of people in this district who feel differently, and feel that people are trying to erase history. This is not about erasing history, or denying that it ever happened. This is about choosing not to honor people who committed crimes against humanity. Mary and I have worked and lived all over the world, supporting military, diplomatic, humanitarian, and development missions on behalf of the U.S. government and NGOs. Mary has dedicated her life to helping people survive, overcome and rebuild after suffering under brutal regimes and ethnic violence, and generations of war. The underlying and universal truths that bind all human beings together is a desire for safety, security and equal opportunity. Celebrating or glorifying oppressors goes against all of those things. The new name for this school should be something that is both representative of the diversity of the student body, and says something about who we are as a community, and who we want these kids to become as they go out into the world. They should all be proud of the name of their high school, and what that name represents.

I am in support for renaming the school. Robert Lee shouldn’t be celebrated by having schools named after him. The school of all places in the community should be leading children by example. 

My grandchild, a Millennial, is a proud graduate of Lee High School. Yet how can we not change the name of Robert E Lee HS in Springfield, VA 22150 following Memorial Day 2020, and all America and the world seeing the graphic video of Mr George Floyd dying without mercy. It is a healing move; do it.

I suggest "The Color Purple"  High School, FCPS, if the author agrees.

As a history afficionada, though, I would like to add this little-stated footnote about Gen Lee, a West Point Graduate. 

President Abraham Lincoln asked Gen Lee to lead the Union Army. Lee thoughtfully declined, saying in short, "Virginia is my Country."  Lee freed the slaves he owned long before the Emancipation Proclamation was signed by Mr Lincoln, as encouraged by Mr Frederick Douglass, while the Civil War raged on. And it was even longer to the 13th Amendment.

(The original of this account might be placed in the National Museum of African American History and Culture on the National Mall as well as the National Museum of American History nearby. An unedited history leads to discussion, understanding, and common ground, in my opinion.) I support renaming Lee High School.  I am writing this response on June 10, 2020, and given the current racial climate in America it would be tone deaf to ignore the protests and ignore the voices for that cry for justice and equality.  Just as the confederate statues in Richmond are coming down, his name does not represent where we as a community want to go from here.

This is so wrong history is history. Why is the school so scared of people of color? Are you going to stop teaching white history? Why don't you just change the names of Virginia call it the black lives matter Virginia? Or people of color Virginia? The world is letting people of color ruin the world. They are out of hand burning down businesses, tearing apart street U. Would not let white people do this? What you are doing is wrong. I wish I was president of United States. This would not be going on thank you. 

I graduated from Lee in 1975.  I support a name change. That said, I 'm not sure how to refer to the school -- if it is changed --that I graduated from in the future.  (Goofy question, but I do wonder what to put on my Facebook page.)  Anyway, it would be nice to retain the "Lancer" name for the teams as well as the past alumni.  I would probably favor a geographic name (Franconia).  I would steer clear of naming it "Lee" for a number of reasons.  I would not try to right a wrong by naming it after a civil rights figure. It would just keep angry people angry all the longer.  But if you decide to do that, I'm not really opposed to such a move either. I'm just in favor of lowering the heat. 

Where will the funds come from and what will be deobligated?  FCPS should instead focus on education during stay at home orders.  The money would be better spent on increasing teacher salaries.  In fact, why dont you ask them? 

As an alumni of REL, I suggest using the original name from 1958 "Lee High School". It would be the most economical and least confusing. My second choice would be naming it after a location such as "East Springfield", it is not in Franconia. 

I respectfully suggest “William Lee High School” as an alternate name for Lee HS. William (Billy) Lee was George Washington’s enslaved valet and was the only slave immediately freed in Washington’s will. Here’s a brief bio from Mt. Vernon: https://www.mountvernon.org/library/digitalhistory/digital-encyclopedia/article/william-billy-lee/

I’m a teacher in FCPS. I’m very much in support of renaming Lee High School. I understand the costs related to it. Therefore, I had an idea. Rename the school to Harper Lee High School. Not only does this honor a prominent author, it honors an important woman in American History. Furthermore, the costs related to renaming the school would be minimal.

Two of my adopted children graduated from Lee HS and went to serve in the US Army and one of them is a Fairfax County Police Officer.

I propose the following names for the current Lee HS: Gov. Doug Wilder, President Obama,  Justice Thurgood Marshall

As a proud alum of Lee, I am strongly hoping that you guys will change the name for the school.

Support for the confederacy and what it stood for is unacceptable; And keeping the name as Robert E Lee is sending a signal to your Black students that you do not care for the Black community and their history of pain and oppression in the United States.

Please change the name!

I was a part of Lee's Class of 2017. I have long ties to the school as my sister graduated a year before me and my little brother will go to Lee in a few months. I am thankful for my experience as it has led to me bigger and better things in life. First I would like to say I have never said the full high school name when speaking to anyone about my high school experience. Why? This name is an insult to the diversity and the reality of Lee high school. While the administration and staff are white, the students are not. Including me... I am a Muslim hijabi with a South Asian descent. I grew up in Brooklyn, New York, and moved here because my parents believed in a better education system for my siblings and me. I know among neighboring schools Lee does not have the best reputation but we have never had problems with racism. 

At Lee no one tolerated racism. I have heard stories from students at other high schools about hidden racism that exist. Yet never at Lee.

Despite that, the name of Robert E. Lee was a blatant insult to that message. The students of Lee mostly come from low-income or immigrant families. To us, Lee is a safe haven from the bitter reality of our family situations. I have heard the arguments over and over again that changing the name is like erasing history. As someone who took IB History of America at Lee HS and excelled in my studies; read a book. True history is honored through learning, not names or statues. Change the name already. It is literally the biggest joke at Lee. 

Lee stands as one of the smallest yet diverse high school in Fairfax county. While we might not have the recognition or prestige as another high school, this is a high school of hard workers. Do not label us with a confederate leader. I studied history too, I know about Robert E. Lee. While I think he was a man of his circumstances. It does not change the fact that he stood by injustice. He trying to protect his "own" is exactly what the police are doing today. 

Respect the diversity of this school. In the voice of alumni who have walked the halls of Lee, I have never once felt that this school was Robert E. Lee. Give us the proper respect by naming after a person who truly struggled in life for something better. 

 

I understand that FCPS is collecting comments.  I and many Mclean residents agree that it's time to reconcile painful parts of history.  And not just Lee's, as other school's names are just are disturbing.

Thank you for at least moving a little bit in the right direction.

 

I'm writing as a taxpayer to indicate my strong support for renaming robert e. Lee high school. 

Glorifying losing Confederate army members is a ridiculous concept and should be discontinued forever. It's just a racist holdover and students deserve better.

 

As an alumnus of Robert E Lee High School*, I am 100% in favor of changing the name of the school. Fairfax County should be doing what it can to dismantle white supremacy everywhere, and renaming the school is a clear first step. I would also like to see the history courses taught at Lee* be done from an anti-racist / anti-white supremacy lens, but even if that was accomplished, what would it mean to teach anti-racism is a school still named after a confederate general? 

I loved my time at Lee* and hope that investments are made in the school to give everyone in our district a safe and welcoming community of learning. This starts by honoring students and not racist confederate generals. The right thing to do is re-name the school. 

*Seriously I hate calling it that

 

I support Barbara Johns, Harriett Tubman, and Barack Obama as possible renames.

I also suggest:  Maggie L Walker,  Oliver W Hill, Henrietta Lacks, Virginia Randolph

 

I am a 3rd grade teacher at Garrison Elementary School, a DC Public School in the Logan Circle/Shaw neighborhood. Our school is located on the former grounds of Camp Barker, a refugee camp for African Americans during the Civil War. Our school is named after William Lloyd Garrison, an abolitionist who worked to abolish slavery through journalism. We teach our students and families about our anti-racist history, and we have so much pride for what our school stands for. 

I'm writing to urge that Robert E Lee High School's name be changed. This is traumatic for kids who go to the school, not to mention shameful that we have memorialized a relic of our deeply racist american history. Your students should go to a school named for something they can be proud of. 

 

I would like to propose renaming Lee HS as Mildred Loving HS, after the Virginia woman named in the SCOTUS court case legalizing interracial marriage in the United States.  This honors a Virginian, a woman of color, a historic civil rights decision and coincidentally with the “L” surname, would be easier to keep the Lancers mascot and signage.

I am writing in support of efforts to change the name of Robert E. Lee High School. I ask that you vote to change the name when the issue comes before the School Board on June 23, 2020.

Why do I support changing the name of the school?

  1. The name itself is offensive to community members and especially students of the school. As Kimberly Boateng, the School Board Student Representative, notes in a letter to you and others, the name itself brings “shame” on those who attend the school.
  2. In taking arms up against the United States of America, Robert E. Lee was a traitor. He was also not a good man. He is not worth our veneration.
  3. As the last few weeks have shown, people are demanding change in how the state treats people of color, especially African Americans. While the protests are inspiring and give hope to me and others about the future, it is nothing without action. June 23, 2020 is your first opportunity to show the community you hear what it’s saying when you vote to rename Robert E. Lee High School. Please let the protests of the last few weeks create further hope when you show that our elected officials hear what the community is saying and turn that into policy action.

 

I am a 1997 graduate of RE Lee High School, and was our senior class president. My brothers graduated in 2000 and 2003.  We were very proud to be a part of the Lee HS community. One of the things we celebrated while we attended many years ago, was the diversity of the student body from the Washington, DC metro area.  

Now is the time to change the high school's name.  It's beyond time to dismantle historical relics that symbolize oppression and racial injustice across Virginia and the South.  In this watershed moment for our country's history, I hope the committee will consider the power of negative symbology and history that the high school's current name - Robert E Lee - represents.  It is at odds with movements towards justice and racial equality.  Young people attending the school and in the community deserve a name that reflects the values of inclusion and forward progress towards a more equitable society.

 

Follow Arlington's lead. Be an example and shine the light on those who we should emulate. Thank you!

 

Growing up in Northern Virginia, confederate generals names were always peppered throughout my psyche. To be candid, changing the name “Lee” creates some sort of childhood nostalgic pause for me.  But it is high time we remove these names from our schools and communities. Giving these traitors to the Union and human rights violators any level of honor is appalling especially in light of recent events which have amplified to many this country’s systematic racial bias. Robert E Lee Highschool must change its name. Let’s think about our children and what we want to teach them about this country’s history and about what kind of people we want to be and who we want them to be.

 

I am a Lee teacher of 13-years.

I believe we can fundamentally change the educational trajectory of our students of color by changing the name of our school. I do also believe the name Lee is an albatross around the neck of our white students as well, that we are forcing them to be party to, as they are very aware of the racist background of Robert E. Lee, and that the name was chosen to intimidate African Americans.

Honestly, when I came to Lee for the interview in 2008, I can remember standing in front of the portrait of Lee hanging in the lobby, thinking to myself, wow, I can’t believe this is really here.

I have quizzed students quite a bit about the name change, and they feel strongly about keeping our mascot (Lancer) and our school colors. And they would like a name that starts with L, such as Lancer Lightening, Liberty Lancers, Lancer Leopards, Lancer Legends, Legacy Lancers, etc.

 

I understand the pressure of renaming the High School.  I am a graduate of Lee High School, yes I said Lee not R.E.Lee, my suggestion is to name the school what it was in the beginning Lee District High School. If that is not acceptable than Central Springfield HS.

 

Hello. As a transplant to VA and FCPS, support renaming the high school. I love that Lee HS strives to remember the Lee name, since they were important to the formation of this nation and our commonwealth. However, Robert E. Lee was on the losing side of history and should NOT be honored this way.

I would like to propose renaming this school Loving HS. This of course after the Loving family who took their “love” to the US Supreme Court, in Loving v. Virginia, when Virginia said it was unlawful. They weren’t from around here, but let’s honor their legacy of diversity by using their name.

 

I am no longer a resident of Fairfax County but I am an alum of Robert E. Lee High School and I am in full support of renaming Lee High School. It is a travesty that a man who supported the slavery of other human beings and chose to lead a treasonous effort against the United States should be commemorated. Let his name be in history books and not on buildings.

 

As an alumni of Robert E Lee HS, I heartily support renaming the school. 

I recommend Springfield High School, a name which folds into the larger naming conventions of the county which has Chantilly, Oakton, and Fairfax HS, etc. 

 

These past weeks have been a whirlwind of the result of the release pent up frustration, sadness, and anger. The death of Mr. George Floyd and the subsequent protests, media coverage, discussions, and all-around movement have unearthed and brought back to light the reality that all too many people, especially black people, face on a day to day basis. In response to this rightful uproar and demand for action, many leaders have taken initiative and began to remove hallmarks of white supremacy from our everyday public spaces. Governor Northam called for
the removal of the Robert E. Lee statue in Richmond , removes a Robert E. Lee statue in Alexandria early and Prince Williams County Public Schools have moved to begin the process to rename Stonewall Jackson Middle School and High School as well as making any Confederate paraphernalia against the Code of Conduct. That begs the question, what is taking us so long?

I come to you, not on behalf of Fairfax NAACP youth council, not as a member of the MSAOC, not even as the Student Representative, but simply as a student in FCPS. A student that has walked through the doors of Robert E. Lee High School countless times, a student that if something isn’t done right now, will have Robert E. Lee’s name permanently etched onto my high school diploma. As a community, we understand that the process of renaming the Lee High School started this past year, many years too late, but nonetheless, it began. Following the response of the coronavirus pandemic, the School Board halted many motions that were started
before and rightfully shifted focus onto the pressing matters of distance learning, allocating resources, and budgeting. However, after the initial shockwaves of the virus, the Board once again put the renaming process on the backburner.

What took Prince Williams County Public Schools a week to decide has effectively taken Fairfax County Public Schools more than three years. Our community is done waiting. In a petition started June 6th by Kadija Ismail, a rising senior at Lee as well as the student representative of the Minority Student Achievement Oversight Committee, she declares that “we are not represented by a Confederate General”. And we are not. Lee High School houses roughly 1,700 students, 80% of them belonging to ethnic minority groups. One should not have to explain why a school of such a large population of minorities should not be named after a war general that
fought on the side rooted in white supremacy, racism, and bigotry. It should go without saying. The petition garnered more than 1,000 signatures in less than 24 hours and likely has received
more by the time this reaches you.

As an FCPS student, I should not feel shame when speaking about my school, I should not have to abbreviate my school name to avoid ridicule, I should not have to say “yes that’s my school name but I promise it is not what you think” because I shouldn’t have to defend the name. In the FCPS Student Rights and Responsibilities handbook , it states we as FCPS Students have the right “to attend a safe, welcoming school”. The naming of Robert E. Lee High School was meant to make black students feel neither safe nor welcome back during the age of integration. FCPS says frequently, that racism has no home in our schools, the sheer irony of that statement is amplified by the fact that one of our school names embodies the very heart of racism. I am asking that you use this opportunity to show everyone that racism has no home here. If this is true, I ask that you prove it. Move to rename Robert E. Lee High School so that the next graduating class doesn’t have the misfortune of having his name immortalized on their diploma and remembered as their alma mater.

 

I am a 1973 graduate of Robert E. Lee High School in Springfield, Virginia.  I have lived, outside of my college years, my entire life in the DC area.  When I was growing up in the 1960's and attending Lynbrook Elementary, we began each day with the Pledge of Allegiance.

"I pledge allegiance, to the flag...with liberty and justice for all."  

In the summertime in the 1960's my family spent many a happy day at Glen Echo Amusement Park in Maryland.  I can still sing for the the radio jingle for Glen Echo.  It was almost 20 years ago however, that I became aware that Glen Echo Amusement Park was a segregated park.  "What?  That kind of stuff only happened in Mississippi and Alabama!"  It was true.  I never knew.

So there was Springfield with Robert E. Lee High and in the next town was Jeb Stuart High and a bit further down was Stonewall Jackson High.  Toward the other side of town was Jefferson Davis Highway.  I thought nothing of this.  No one made a big deal about it.  It was even celebrated on occasion.  My parents were not concerned and neither were my friends parents.  It seemed OK.  After all, I myself am the great-grandson of a Confederate veteran.  If the state and county sanctioned this, naming schools and streets after Confederate veterans, it had to be OK, right?

Then I became aware of Glen Echo.

I tried to imagine.  What if I were a minority living in America, and every day in my town I had to pass by a monument to someone or something that did not stand for "liberty and justice for all?"  Especially when the left out people were people like me.

All living things evolve.  If they don't,they don't survive.  What does it say about a people who leave such monuments up even when they now know better?  I can not sit still.

Robert E. Lee I was taught, and many people will tell you today, that he was not keen on slavery (even though his family and the family he married into owned many) and that he could not bring himself to take up arms against his Virginia home.  I will tell you this was a bad decision.  The Confederacy did not help Virginia or the South at all, unless you were very rich.  The economic system of slavery took job opportunities and income out of the pockets of free white men and women.  I think of my 16 year old great-grandfather, a Confederate soldier, and wonder what he thought he was fighting for.  It surely was nothing that was in his interest, or in the interest of the vast majority of Virginians.

I hope we will re-name the school  I hope we name it after someone who stood for "Liberty and Justice for All."

Someone like Susan B. Anthony or Rosa Parks would bring back the pride.

 

As a graduate of Robert E Lee High School (class of 2009), I would like to relay my sincere hope that the Fairfax County School Board will revisit the prospect of changing the name of the school.

I was VERY encouraged when Tamara Derenak Kaufax pushed this idea forward as early as February of this year. I hope that this resolution was not merely symbolic and that it will be an important first step towards the removal of "lost cause" iconography from FCPS. Given the momentum around this, I hope you follow the lead of Gov Northam's resolution to remove the Lee monument in Richmond, and that you will take action now.

This name glorifying this confederate leader not only promotes a failed rebellion, but at its core it serves as a powerful tool of white supremacy. As explained by prominent Civil War historian Kevin Levin, the confederate monuments are "understood as a reflection of the reemergence and maintenance of white supremacy during the Jim Crow era." 

Plainly put, the name of the high school is an oppressive symbol, and celebrating Lee in this way is an effort to maintain a violent racial order in which black people and other non-white citizens did not have the same rights or power as white citizens.

I am aware that some graduates, leadership, or members of the community see this name as a harmless piece of history but the fact is that it continues to reinforce an American racial hierarchy. Is that what FCPS will continue to represent?

People are hurting. This history is part of our past and our present but we need to take tangible steps toward a better future. It is long past due to remove this name - a divisive symbol and a tool of white supremacy. 

I sincerely hope that you will use your power to take this critical step towards unity, peace, and racial reconciliation.

 

Respectfully, as a graduate of the 1990 class, I ask the school to rename itself. Even while attending the highschool I was deeply uncomfortable with name. As the years have passed, the memories I have as a student are colored unfavorably by the name. I find it shameful, un-American and deeply unkind. I acknowledge that this is a difficult process, and sincerely wish you for you the strength and abundance of courage needed to make this happen.

 

As a 1967 graduate of Robert E. Lee High School, I think renaming the school is an excellent idea.  At the very least, the “Robert E.” part of the name should be dropped.  It is way past time that we acknowledge the racism and treason of the Confederacy and the leaders who fought for it.

 

I went to Woodson High, just down the road, and remember playing soccer games at Lee. At the time I didn't think much about the school being named after a Confederate general. But that was 20 years ago. Times have changed and it's time to move on and rename the school.

While Lee wasn't necessarily a bad dude - he was known to actually oppose seceding from the country - he still suited up and fought for the Confederacy even when offered to fight for the Union. His name still means oppression to the millions of decedents of slaves we have in this country. So let's move on and get his name off of things in this State.  

 

I would like to propose renaming Lee HS as Mildred Loving HS, after the Virginia woman named in the SCOTUS court case legalizing interracial marriage in the United States.  This honors a Virginian, a woman of color, a historic civil rights decision and coincidentally with the “L” surname, would be easier to keep the Lancers mascot and signage.


I have been advised there is a move you support to rename Robert E. Lee High School, from what is
heard, solely, or largely, on the single fact that Robert E. Lee became Commander of the Confederate
Army, while casting aside, or ignoring, much the facts of much good work in racial reconciliation that
Robert E. Lee did for America, both before and after the War Between The States.

Indeed, as I look at the FCPS website today, I see that without fair input from many Citizens of many
views, FCPS has changed the name from Robert E. Lee High School to only Lee High School. But maybe
YOU can be the person of integrity and respect for Citizens’ views to say, “No FCPS, change the name
back, at least until we complete a fair input of a broad section of the Fairfax voters.”

Liberal Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz has recently been interviewed saying that the removal of
History in America is the same sort of action that Lenin and Stalin did in Communist Russia.

In 1959, a Pulitzer Prize was awarded to Ralph Emerson McGill, publisher of The Atlanta Constitution,
for his editorials against Segregation. Born a Republican in East Tennessee, McGill became a Democrat
in Atlanta, in part because that was the only party in town. For his editorials, he suffered from drive-by
shootings at his house, and Crosses burned in his yard. Yet, the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. listed
Ralph McGill first among the journalists he named in his “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” in April 1963.

In 1963, I met Ralph McGill at church, and he became my mentor. With access to McGill’s personal
library and his encouragement, at age 12, in 7th grade, in 1967, I wrote a 168 page paper on the War
Between The States. That school boy event likely led to my interest in History such that Governor
Gilmore appointed me to the Mount Vernon Board of Visitors in 1998, The Washington Times described
me as a “Master of American History” a few years later, and The New York Times did a fine article on my
History work in November 2010. In 2000, I produced the George Washington Book Festival on C-SPAN.
I teach American History in Springfield & to both public and private school students all across America. 

One huge contrast of General Lee with General Sheridan and General Grant, is when Lee marched into
Pennsylvania and Maryland, he gave strict orders to his officers for summary (immediate) punishment of
any Confederate soldiers who looted farmers or merchants of their produce or wares. U.S. War
Department, The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and
Confederate Armies, 127 vols., reveals that Grant ordered Sherman: “Lest out Virginia clear and clean as
far as they [Early’s army] go, so that crows flying over it for the balance of the season will have to carry
their provender with them.” That is almost funny if you think of some cartoon crows, but terrorist when
you realize they starved Virginians. I have read also where Sheridan met with Lincoln just before he
began his Valley “War on the People”. I have also read where Sheridan ordered his army, “To destroy
everything except their eyes, with which they can see and weep.” Sheridan did the same to the buffalo,
and thus Indians, when he was Governor of the Indian Territory after the War Between The States.

Some may promote this erasing History name change to remove Robert E. Lee to be “Social Justice”, or
“Justice” of some sort, yet General Robert E. Lee was a “Social Justice” warrior in many ways, one of the
most profound is when after the war a black man walked forward to kneel at the Saint Paul’s Church Altar
rail to receive Holy Communion, Lee rose from his seat, and went to kneel beside the man -showing true
“communion” with the man - of Christian Love and Social Justice Leadership at the same time.

Of course as President of Washington College, later renamed Washington and Lee College in his honor,
Robert E. Lee did much to ease the tensions due to past terrors, and heal the wounds of the War.
In his honor, that is Ralph McGill, I have been a Journalist at times. I served as President of The Virginia
Chronicle in Virginia Beach in 2003 and 2004. I have served since as an Investigative Reporter, mainly
on corruption in the Courts of Virginia, where I have been involved in “forcing” 13 judges to recuse
themselves for bias, 6 to sign Orders of Disqualification due to bias, 4 not to be re-elected by the General
Assembly, 2 not to be promoted to the Court of Appeals after my testimony to the Courts of Justice
Committees, and forced one judge to submit an “early retirement letter” to the Chief Justice.

Yet far more as a Social Justice Warrior, I gave over 8 years Pro Bono work getting an innocent, black
Army Veteran released from prison, after I was involved in getting his prosecutor sent to Federal Prison.
That Democrat prosecutor was grand-nephew of Democrat Senator Harry Byrd who opposed Republican
President Dwight Eisenhower in his Desegregation efforts that mentor Ralph McGill commended. And
the prosecutor’s father was a Democrat Delegate from Alexandria. Do you remember the term “Massive
Resistance” (to Desegregation)? That term was used by Democrat U.S. Senators, and Democrat Delegates.

Also as a “Social Justice Warrior”, I was the last man to TRY to save an innocent black retarded man that
the same Democrat prosecutor sought the Death Penalty as he framed him with shooting a Policeman,
contrary to “Atkins v. Virginia” U.S. supreme Court ruling that states that mentally retarded are not to be
executed. I wrote a one page summary letter for the Governor telling of a US Judge saying the Defense
was the worst he had ever seen, and I found witnesses that proved the black man was innocent, that the
Defense never showed the Court. I gave that letter to Kaine's Clemency Director. The Democrat former
prosecutor went to Democrat Governor Kaine to talk him into signing the Death Warrant despite the facts.

By the way, regarding the Sheridan - Grant - Lincoln War in the Valley and War on Virginians who lived
there, that region had only about 17 per cent of Virginia’s slaveowning households with 10 per cent of
Virginia’s slaveholders, so certainly not a “racist region” of pro-slavery sentiment. Nor was Robert E.
Lee, a proponent of slavery. Nor was Robert E. Lee some sort of “Racist”, nor am I as a “Social Justice
Warrior”, some sort of Racist, yet it may be fair to say that Democrat U.S Senator Harry Byrd, for whom
there is a statue on the grounds of the Virginia Capitol, was clearly a racist leader all across America in
the 1950s, though we may both hope that Senator Byrd repented and changed later in his life.

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” (George Santayana-1905). In a 1948
speech to the House of Commons, Winston Churchill changed the quote slightly when he said
(paraphrased), “Those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it.” If you allow the
Communist style removal of History to be done to the school name of Robert E. Lee High School, you
will be condemning the future students of that school and others from learning the lessons of leadership in
military service, social justice and racial reconciliation that are the hallmarks of the life of Robert E. Lee.

 

I am reading “History of Robert E. Lee High School Name” that my wife, a graduate of the school, brought home from the community meeting this past Wednesday night.  As one who earns a living writing non-fiction, I am outraged at its style.  While it is generally appropriate to present history in chronological order, by doing so in this case the author and editors have produced a paper that will mislead many readers.  They have done a disservice to the community since we need to be factual and honest as we discuss the current effort to change the school name again.  From the comments some left at the meeting, people clearly have been fed a good bit of misinformation already.

Instead of starting with an unambiguous statement that we do not know why the name was changed from Lee High School to Robert E. Lee High School, the paper puts the name change in the context of efforts to resist desegregation.  It isn’t until the last paragraph that we read the school board records do not reflect why the name was changed.  However, the style leads a person who isn’t reading critically to think the name change was made specifically to resist desegregation.  While this may very well have been a reason at the time, the fact is that we just don’t know and to intentionally or unintentionally imply otherwise is simply wrong and highly inappropriate for an organization charged with educating our youth.

Please, before handing out this paper or something like it again, make sure it clearly states up front that we do not know why the name was changed to Robert E. Lee High School.

 

I think renaming Robert Lee is a great idea. I call your attention to this article. (attached article from Teaching Tolerance Magazine, “Black Minds Matter.”)

 

I am writing in support of the renaming of Lee High School. My daughter is currently a 6th grade student at Garfield Elementary school and I sincerely hope Lee has been renamed before she enters high school.  A community as diverse as ours should not have students attending a school named after a confederate general. 

 

Robert E. Lee turned down the command of the Union Army, and eventually lost everything because he decided that he had to remain loyal to his home state of Virginia. You can go to Arlington Cemetery and see the room where he paced all night while making his final decision to remain loyal to Virginia.  It is a travesty that the state of Virginia is going to punish General Lee for Virginia's collective decision to join the Confederacy.

This renaming effort also is stark proof of the historical ignorance propagated by the Virginia school systems.  It compounds the ignorant FCPS pronouncement that slavery was introduced to VA in 1619, when it was a common practice by the native North American cultures for hundreds of years before 1619.  (I raised the pronouncement's inaccuracy with FCPS, but FCPS has made no effort to correct the statement.)

 

"A nation which does not remember what it was yesterday does not know where it is today." Robert E. Lee
It is disappointing that the school board has prioritized the question of whether or not to rename Robert E. Lee High School. We live in an area surrounded by deep history of this country. While some of it is difficult, so were the struggles that led to freedom we enjoy. I believe the name should remain as symbol of history. There are much more important issues for the school board and members to focus their time and energy on that would have a direct impact on learning, such as lowering class size.

 

If the fight to change names of other schools (or streets) is any guide, I am certain you'll have a number of folks show up to argue for the preservation of the name because of "heritage" or "history" or a combination of both. Such arguments are usually rooted into a ignorance of both the history of the Civil War and the struggle for civil rights, and in a misunderstanding of how symbols affect communities. 

There have been numerous studies done on the relationship between the civil rights movement and the proliferation of monuments, streets, and schools dedicated to those who betrayed their oath and their country. I'm sure staff at FCPS can dig those studies up, but I'm happy to provide relevant links if you desire. Beyond that, it is important to point out that for far too long we have accepted a version of history in which both sides of the Civil War were equally deserving. That is simply not true. We should no longer accept this injustice, and loudly proclaim that one side fought for the preservation of the enslavement of other humans. We would rightly not accept Germans naming schools after Nazi generals. We would not accept the Japanese naming a school after Admiral Yamamoto. We should no longer accept naming schools after traitors. 

We should continue to celebrate the history of Virginia and there are plenty of amazing Virginians who deserve to have schools named after them (especially perhaps those that are most underrepresented in this field). Below you will find a very abortive list of historical figures figures that are thousands of time more deserving to have their legacy immortalize through school names than traitors to our country. (list of suggested names below)

Rosa L. Dixon Bowser - First African American to organize black teachers in Virginia. 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosa_Dixon_Bowser

William Harvey Carney - first African American to receive the Medal of Honor
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Harvey_Carney

Rosa L. Dixon Bowser - First African American to organize black teachers in Virginia. 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosa_Dixon_Bowser

Elizabeth van Lew - Abolitionist, Spymaster for the United States during the Civil War
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_Van_Lew

George Henry Thomas - United States general, among the most successful Union generals in the war. 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Henry_Thomas

Dred Scott - African American man who sued to gain his freedom. The Dred Scott case remains the ugliest stain on US jurisprudence
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dred_Scott

Mildred Loving - African American woman who sued the state of Virginia to have her marriage to Richard Loving, a white man recognized. 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loving_v._Virginia

 

I see you already removed Robert E. From Lee High school on your drop down. Please do not waste tax payers dollars and education dollars on a name change for Robert E. Lee High School. Especially since there has been little request from the community to do so. Your job is to support the community not your personal agendas. Thank you.

My father was an educator (retiring after being an interim superintendent) so I have a very small idea of what you are going through now. As far as I know, he never had to contend with this type of situation. I want to thank the administrators and teachers for their hard work. I have let the schools where my children attended know the same thing - thanks for an enjoyable year and for your hard work in dealing with COVID-19. On to another subject. I read Fairfax County Public Schools is going to rename Robert E. Lee High School. I am sure this is because of the wave of unrest in our society today. I know this is late but I would like to request you not change the name of the school. I know I am not a Robert E. Lee scholar. I don't even know if he owned slaves. (Which I assume is the reason for the name change.). This I know is that President Lincoln asked him to lead Union forces against the Confederacy, which Lee declined so he could lead the Southern forces. President Lincoln obviously held his leadership in high regard. Growing up, I personally favored the Union. As a Christian, I really try to examine myself (my sin) before I start throwing stones. When I do that, most often I don't even have the right to look down to see where the stones are let alone bend down. Slavery was an awful moment in our country's history. Speaking from my Christian perspective Satan was laughing all the way to the bank when the Europeans first brought ships and purchased Africans for slavery to send to the Western Hemisphere. And he's been laughing ever since. Unfortunately, our government has passed laws which have made it okay to make human life as just being an object and of no value. I would consider slavery and abortion doing exactly that. (This is not an abortion protest. I just see that both of those do the same thing-make human life of no value.). If we are to be fair in punishing those in the past due to their connection to slavery, then African history could never be taught in the United States since the vast majority of slaves coming to the Western Hemisphere were sold by other Africans. The African slave trade was very lucrative for Africans, and that was not just to the Western Hemisphere. We would have to condemn some blacks whose ancestors owned slaves in the United States. We would have to condemn Native Americans as well. Otherwise, hypocrisy is all that remains. I am a white man and my wife is black. We met in church. She helps me see things, and I help her. She is a good woman! She has strengths that I do not and vice versa. We both understand blacks have been discriminated at times. Our desire is for everyone to treat and be treated the way God desires (do to others as you would have them do to you). And boy, is that hard sometimes regardless of who it is! My plea is for the decisions to be fair and not knee jerk reactions to the ebb and flow of society.

 

I am against changing Robert E. Lee HS name. I am an alum and think it's a ridiculous waste of time and $. That said if it must be done let it revert back to Lee HS. Thank you

 

I am no longer a residence of Fairfax County, but I am an alumni of Robert E. Lee High School. I'm currently scheduled to be teaching on the evening of March 18 and won't be able to attend the public hearing. I was hoping that I might be able to have my written comments made part of the record. I have stated on public forums before my opinion about renaming not only my alma mater but any other school, road, or monument. I think that it is important to note that there is a distinction between the decision to honor a person and the decision to remove the name. When we make the decision to remove someone’s name from a public facility, we are not only making a judgment about the honoree, we are also making a judgment on the people who originally erected the monument. If the decision is made to remove the name because of some new evidence (ie Bill Cosby) or tainted motive behind the original decision (putting the Confederate flag back up in protest of the passage of the Civil Rights Act) then I would agree. I’m not sure either of these circumstance apply to renaming Robert E. Lee High School. It is the fact that we are looking back on the prior decisions of the Fairfax County School Board with modern glasses and modern attitudes. Unless the minutes of the FCSB meeting reveals a sinister motive behind the naming of Robert E. Lee High School I do not support the second guessing of the decision. I would not vote to name a new school or road after any Confederate official, but I also will not vote to remove the name of a Confederate so honored unless presented with evidence that purpose behind the honor was to intimidate the minority population or some similar wrongful motive. Unlike many of the former Confederate generals Robert E. Lee made considerable efforts after the war to heal the country. He opposed the flying of the battle flag after Appomattox, and his family barred anyone from wearing a Confederate uniform at Lee's funeral. I oppose the changing the name of the Robert E. Lee High School, but I support an effort to give a more complete history of our country. For too long Southern state, especially Virginia, have tried to teach that the "War of Northern Aggression" was about "State Rights" and economic issues. Even saying that the war was about slavery is wrong. It was a war based on the idea of white supremacy. Let's take the effort to remove Lee's name and instead turn it into a teaching opportunity. 

 

I understand the feeling to rename the high school.  Buildings and monuments, as well as holidays, reflect the time and attitudes of the population. Or more so, the people in charge at the time of construction, naming, or renaming.  We of course are at renaming.

The most straight line solution to this problem/argument is to be equitable and take the memorializing off the table and rename all the buildings with a PS number (or FCPS number).

What we as people and you as stewards of public funds need to realize is when we name or rename a building it is very expensive and those expenses are far reaching.  
Currently Fairfax County Public Schools has bludgeoned ahead on renaming Stuart. When proposed it was stated the county had enough funds to cover all the costs. Which the county didn't.  My concern is we are in the same loop with Lee.  That loop of renaming facilities will continue.  I would sugget we (you) pause, just for a moment, and come up with a real and long term plan for all FCPS named facilities.

To eliminate this issue permanently I would strongly suggest stop naming facilities after people and to a lesser extent events.  Instead, name facilities similar to other districts with a number. For example PS (for public school) 1160 for Lee High School. 

Using a number, and internally FCPS already has numbered all sites, would remove the stigma associated with a name.  Changing to a number would be equitable for past and future generations, and less expensive for the rename.  To my points: PS 1160 has no political liability it defines a location; the past nor future has attachment to PS 1160 which makes it equitable; PS 1160 could retain it's mascot and colors which should save money.  

Committing to FCPS schools / facilities being renamed a number also removes the political aspect and allows FCPS to focus on the true mission, the education of students.  

I do understand the feelings and passions on both sides of this argument.  As stewards of pubic trust I expect you to step out of the argument and look at this issue from a bigger and broader view.  A view that fixes the problem for once and all.  The truth of this argument is someone is always unhappy.  Justified or rationalized when feelings are the issue we as a common people need to respect those feelings, even when we don't agree.  

 

As my last act tonight in commemorating the birthdays of the Father of our Country,  George Washington, and the Defender of our Union, Abraham Lincoln, I wish to express my strong support for FINALLY changing the name of Robert E. Lee High School.  Thank you for putting this issue on the agenda.

My son, who is a US Naval officer on active duty and who graduated from FCPS, notes that the US Navy long ago renamed those ships that had been dedicated to Confederates.  And rightly so, as the Confederates were traitors to the Constitution that all military personnel as well as all federal public servants take an oath to defend—against all enemies foreign or domestic.

Just as it would be a travesty for any sailor, but particularly a black sailor, to have to serve on a ship named for someone who fought to defend slavery, likewise it is unthinkable for any student in this day and age, but particularly a black student, to be expected to show pride in a public school named to honor the same.

My children are proud and successful graduates of our excellent FCPS, but I would not have let them attend a high school named to honor the Confederate cause that harmed so many innocents.  It would have been unethical. 

Vote without delay to change the name of Robert E. Lee HS.  Thank you for your public service.

 

The effort to change the name of Robert E  Lee High School is a complete waste of time and money for such an useless effort.

Give the number of much higher priorities that are currently unfunded, the effort to rename any school is such a misuse of tax payers $$ for no meaningful or practical purpose.

I will vote out any candidate that supports this renaming effort.

 

I expect you're getting more opposition than support, but I want to express my support for the name change.  Aside from the obvious reasons, connected to things like the late-19th-century legend of Lee (rather different from the historical figure and a product of Jim Crow) and the mid-20th-century context of the naming (that is, a time of "white flight" and opposition to desegregated schools), I think of the school's name through a lens formed by teaching music, and specifically thinking about (and making my students think about) the issues around performing music that may embody values we no longer believe, a rather different perspective that might be helpful here.

Music, in a sense, lives not only in the time of its composition but in the time of its performance.  As such, the performers of music of the past have to my mind a special burden.  When we see offensive words and ideas in a novel, for instance, we clearly know that those are not part of us--but that's not so true if the music is coming out of our bodies.  We just discussed aspects of that in one of my classes this morning, in relation to Show Boat, but it's a factor more often than many of us would think.  There's no easy answer to the dilemma, but sometimes it may well be necessary to say that, while we can continue to study a piece of music that embodies ideas we oppose, we should not bring it to life in our own time.

Applying that principle to other media, I have come to see a distinction between a statue, say, that lives in a museum, where its context is clearly to illuminate the past, and a statue that lives in the public square, often elevated above us.  Public art, in a sense, lives in the present as well as the past, just as music does, which is why I tend to support the removal of monuments to white supremacy, slavery, and the "lost cause" interpretation of the Confederacy.  Put them in a museum, where we can continue to examine them, but as items that clearly live only in the past tense.

I feel similarly about the name of my high school.  I didn't know better at the time, but I do now, and the name as proclaimed above the heads of students entering the building lives in the present, not in the past.  Changing it does not, as some have argued, change the past, but it changes the present and the future.  As we stand in the present and look toward the future we should absolutely reject the legendary history we were taught, the "legacy of hate" (as opposed to the "legacy, not hate" argument), and the favoring of our own idealized childhood over the need of current students.

I hope my arguments are helpful as you move forward.  
 

 

As an alumni I want to go on record as against using money to change the name. ROBERT E LEE was an honorable Virginian. Fairfax County would have to change its name as Fairfax was a slave owner.  I have lived in Fairfax county my whole life almost 67 yrs.  Use the money for education.  This is a waste of time and money.  I will vote against those that pass this matter.

 

To whom it may concern, I’m alumni class of 99 from Lee HS and am requesting to speak at the public discussion that is going to be held on March 18th.  I just would like you to know that as alumni and strong supporter of Confederate heritage and Robert E. Lee I’m strongly opposed to this consideration of changing the name in light of political correctness and hate that certain members of the school board may have towards honoring great men such as Lee, Stuart, etc.  

 

Just leave it as it was in the 1960’s...I graduated from Lee High School named due to the district or county or whatever.

 

I’m a proud Class of ‘73 graduate who graduated near the bottom of my class but who went on to earn a master’s in business and retire as an Air Force officer. My two cents is why stop at changing just my high school’s name? For the sake of not being called selective hypocrites, why not change the name of Fairfax County, since Lord Fairfax was a slave owner. 

 

Is it possible to re-name the school and KEEP the colors and Lancer? 

The building is FULL of blue and yellow—floor tiles, wall tiles, lockers, bathroom stalls, paint inside and out, fencing, signs, etc. Changing the colors will result in huge costs since you’d have to change the colors throughout the building and grounds. 
 

 

I am a junior attending Langley High School. I believe that it is a civil duty to correct the injustices in our society and therefore am very much in support of this name change. I would like to share my suggestion, James Adamouski, for the improved name of Lee High School and I hope that you will take it under consideration. Especially because, who better to correct an injustice in a school system than the students themselves? 

James Adamouski attended Lee High School and graduated from West Point Military Academy in 1955. He planned to enroll in Harvard Business School before his helicopter was shot down and he became the first graduate from West Point to die in Iraq. James Adamouski is a local war hero and deserves recognition by the community.

There may be some concerns over this name change in contrast to others. According to FCPS policy, High Schools must have geographic or historical names and must avoid causing confusion with the names of other schools in the area. In 2019, Loudoun County named its JROTC annex after James, however, I believe that because they are such a niche group of people, that naming a High School after James would be much more impactful in spreading his story. 

I am hopeful that Adamouski High School will be taken into consideration as a possibility for the improved name because of both the historical significance of this name, as well as the advancement of society which has been reflected by this modification. Thank you for taking the time to consider this national hero who gave his life for his country. His life was a lesson of the dedication with which each of us should give to our passions, and an example of the effort required to excel in life.
 

I am active duty military residing in the Lee District pyramid with one child in first grade and another starting Kindergarten in 2021. I won't be able to speak at the fist board meeting due to my travel schedule but I did want to make my voice heard. 
 
I was born and raised in Rochester, NY, attended all public schools there, and chose the US Naval Academy for college and the Navy as a career. It opened my eyes to the diversity of our country, its history, and our ongoing challenges. One of those challenges is clinging to harmful aspects of our past. There are lots of reason for this - "history" or "tradition" are often cited, but the fact is nonetheless that placing Robert E. Lee's name as a place of honor on a public institution for education (a decision that was made in the 1950s) is disgraceful and should absolutely be reconsidering as you are doing – thank you for that. There are so many other figures who should be celebrated and honored to give people from historically marginalized groups the recognition they deserve, not somehow who fought to maintain the institution of slavery.
 
My own suggestion is to keep the name "Lee" and look for people with that name - local if at all possible. One suggestion that quickly comes to mind for me is William Lee, an enslaved man who was George Washington's personal valet when he was fighting in the Revolutionary War. There is no doubt that by serving Washington, Lee served our country valiantly as well, and I think naming a school after him acknowledges his contributions as well as the painful but true aspects of our country's past. 

I’m President of the Luther Jackson High School Alumni Assoc. Inc., and a 1960 graduate of Luther Jackson High School (Renamed Luther Jackson Middle School).  I would like to speak about naming the school on Franconia Road, Dumont J. Walker Jr. High School.

Dumont, graduated from Luther Jackson High School In 1962.  He then went to Bulefield State College in W. Va.  And later got his masters at UVA. By the time he was only 31 or 32, he was principal of Fort Hunt Elementary School.  He was well known and liked and did a great job. My children attended Ft. Hunt Elementary, then Foster Middle school, then Ft. Hunt High and graduated from West Potomac. 

Later, Mr. Walker was transferred to a school in Vienna….Sadly, when he was only 41 or so he was killed in a car accident.  He was married and had one child.

Dumont J. Walker Jr. was raised on Beulah Road in the Franconia section of the County.  His family were educators in Fairfax County and D.C., and had owned the land there since 1860.  I believe he was a hero and worthy of having a high school named after him, in his neighborhood.     

 

I'm a Junior at Langley High School, and I am writing to you today to express my interest in the renaming of Robert E. Lee High School. As a proud Fairfax County student myself, I can say that I was beyond excited upon hearing that there would be a scheduled meeting regarding the name change. I agree wholeheartedly with this decision for reasons including the fact that, as Lee District Tamara Derenak Kaufax stated, “Confederate values are ones that do not align with our community.” When a high school is named after any Confederate leader, the school district is thus effectively honoring racial discrimination, something we know as basic knowledge to be morally evil. Regardless of whether that school is against said discriminatory beliefs, a name is still a name, especially if it carries with it a history of white supremacy and racial oppression. Not only does it then create an uncomfortable environment for many students, but It also taints the school district’s image. Moreover, it goes against one of the core beliefs of FCPS which consistently advocates for a welcoming environment for all. I believe that this name change would not only transform the school
environment for those currently attending Lee High School, but it would also better reflect the views of FCPS.

Regarding the new name of Lee High School, I respectfully propose “James F. Adamouski High School.” A graduate of Lee High School’s very own class of 1991, Army Captain James Adamouski was a star soccer player and the president of his senior class. An exemplary product of FCPS, the difference and impact he made during those times at Lee HS was still very prevalent at the time of his passing. Later, after graduating from the class of ‘95 at West Point, he was deployed to Iraq during the Global War on Terror. Similarly to James W. Robinson Jr., Adamouski was the first Virginian to die in the Iraq War in 2003. Although not required to deploy with his unit, he chose to deploy anyways to lead his soldiers and to defend his country on what would be his final mission. For his bravery and heroic actions, Adamouski was posthumously awarded with a bronze star and the purple heart medal. His colleague at West Point, Matt T. Wiger recalled him as “an individual who was able to inspire good graces in everyone he met.”

“Adamouski,” although perhaps difficult to pronounce and spell, has the added appeal as it “avoid[s]... names that could cause confusion with other schools in Fairfax County '', as stated in the FCPS regulations for renaming schools. Furthermore, while it may not necessarily be a geographical or historical name, I believe that, as not only an inspiring individual, Adamouski’s accomplishments and valor while fighting for our country makes him more than qualified to receive a memorial, just as James Robinson and Wilbert Woodson have both been memorialized through Robinson and W.T. Woodson High School. He sets an important precedent for other Lee High School students, which in my opinion, is far superior to that of the prejudiced message of Robert E. Lee.

 

This was my school leave it as is Robert E Lee.

 

Thank you for allowing me to provide comments and concerns with the current process of renaming the FCPS Robert E. Lee High School.  Please note that I was able to discuss the subject process with 30 adults in our area.  Understanding that this is a small percentage of the community, yet it is a valid statistical sample size, and resulted in the following three concerns:

1) Majority see no need to change
2) Funding required to change
3) General spending of FCPS

Please note that the majority of adults that I heard from were ok with the current name and did not see a need to change it.  A couple felt that the name should be changed because it represented a bad part of history.  A few felt strongly that the name should remain because they didn't want history changed or this was Robert E. Lee's home. 

A strong majority were concerned about the costs involved with changing the name. Even one of the adults who thought that the name should be changed, was against tax payer funds being used.  They felt that funds should come from a private or alternative source.

There were also general funding concerns regarding current and past actions, where FCPS Board Members were spending the tax payers money.  Various issues arose, but the basic issue was that we are not spending enough money to help our children, and changing school names was included.

Thank you once again for this opportunity in advance of the March 18 Public Hearing.

 

 

Unfortunately, I am out of town on March 18, 2020 and unable to attend the public hearing to discuss the proposed re-naming of Robert E. Lee High School in Springfield, Virginia, but I wanted to share with you my reasons for opposing the proposed change.

I graduated from Robert E. Lee High School in 1986 and most of my family still lives in Springfield. I was also a History and English major in college and I attended graduate school at George Mason University where my studies focused on history in general and the American Civil War in particular.

As someone who has studied Lee’s life closely (I’ve read at least a dozen biographies about the man), I humbly suggest that those who support changing the name do not know very much about the man. While everyone knows that Lee was the commanding officer of Confederate forces during the Civil War, most people do not realize that Lee was actually a “progressive” on issues of race for his time. Before the war, Lee called slavery a “moral and political evil.” In fact, Lee was one of the most prominent Southerners to oppose slavery before the war. Further, Lee opposed secession from the Union and urged his fellow Virginians to reject the statewide secession referendum in 1861. 

As a lifelong US Army officer, Lee never owned a house let alone a slave but he was named the executor of his father in law’s estate in 1857 where he had to pay off the estate’s debts for four different badly managed plantations before he could free George Washington Parke Custis’ slaves under estate law at the time (which he did in the middle of the Civil War at the end of 1862). 

Let me repeat that: Robert E. Lee freed the Custis slaves in the middle of the Civil War.

One hundred fifty years later, you can condemn Lee if you like and strip his name from this school, but I’m glad that none of us will ever have to choose between our country and our family. Whatever you decide, you cannot change the fact that Lee opposed slavery, opposed secession, freed the Custis slaves in the middle of the Civil War and promoted racial reconciliation after the war. He was a great man – perhaps the greatest Virginian and most tragic American of the 19th century…an honorable man whose name now lives in infamy amongst some because we don’t know more about him.

If we knew, we would be proud to have our high school named after him.

Shortly after the war, there is a story about Lee attending services at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Richmond, which was known as "the Cathedral of the Confederacy." As the congregation prepared to approach the communion rail, a young, well-dressed black man strode confidently up the center aisle and knelt at the rail to receive communion. The entire congregation froze. No one knew what to do for a moment until an elderly white gentleman walked up the aisle and knelt next to the black man at the communion rail. With that, the rest on the congregation followed suit and joined them at the rail. 

That man was Robert E. Lee.

Robert E. Lee is a man worth honoring and remembering. His father, Light Horse Harry Lee (a former Governor of Virginia, Revolutionary War hero and the Congressman who eulogized Washington as “first in war, first in peace”), died a bankrupt drunkard when Lee was 11 years old. Lee spent the rest of his life trying to restore his family’s name and, when he died, he was mourned, both North and South, as one of the greatest and most admired men of his time. 

The New York Times reported it this way: “Richmond presents today a scene of mourning hardly witnessed in this generation. The stores and public buildings are all closed. The bells in all parts of the city are tolling. On many doors are pictures and photographs of Gen. Lee, draped in crape, with evergreen. The citizens are standing in groups on the principal thoroughfares and talking in subdued tones of the sad event. The feeling that he ought to be buried here, at the State's expense, is universal, and the Legislature, in making this request of his family, reiterated the public desire.”

I will leave you with Lee’s own words from a letter that he wrote to his sister the day he resigned his commission in the US Army and let you decide whether you think this is a dishonorable man:

Now we are in a state of war which will yield to nothing. The whole South is in a state of revolution, into which Virginia, after a long struggle, has been drawn; and though I recognize no necessity for the state of things, and would have forborne and pleaded to the end for redress of grievances, real or supposed, yet in my own person I had to meet the question whether I should take part against my native State. With all my devotion to the Union, and the feeling of loyalty and duty of an American citizen, I have not been able to make up my mind to raise my hand against my relatives, my children, my home. I have, therefore, resigned my commission in the Army, and save in defense of my native State (with the sincere hope that my poor services may never be needed) I hope I may never be called upon to draw my sword.

I know you have good intentions, but this is the Robert E. Lee that you are dishonoring with this action and I hope you will reconsider. He was a good man who lived during a terrible time and tried to do his duty. A man who could have commanded the Union Army (and probably been President of the United States), but he could not draw his sword against his family. I was proud – and am proud – to have attended a school named after such a man.
 

 

I am writing as a Fairfax County resident and asking the Lee High School Board to approve renaming it to James Adamouski High School. As an American citizen, it is my priority to represent my values of equality and freedom.

General Robert E. Lee believed that some people were worth less than others because of their skin color. America was founded on the hard work of people of all races and ethnicities. My family and I cherish our Turkish background, yet we all consider ourselves moral citizens, and contribute respect, integrity, and kindness to our community. General Lee owned slaves and supported the right for white people to own people of color. This is something no one should stand by and certainly not the representatives of the Lee High School, who should consider it their priority to teach young people the true values of living in a diverse community and striving for the same goal together.

The name of school tells students that the person is someone to be admired and respected, but how can we expect students of color to admire someone like General Robert E. Lee? How can we ask them to be proud of the name of their school? I believe that renaming Lee High School to James Adamouski High School will be a powerful step towards finally representing the values that each student will be proud of. The U.S. Army Captain was killed while on combat duty in Iraq, at the age of 29. He was the first Virginian to die in the Iraq war. He demonstrated selfless sacrifice and service to our nation. Captain Adamouski once attended Lee High School. I believe that the Lee High School officials should be proud of having such a hero once being one of their students and I cannot imagine a more appropriate name. My history teacher made me aware of the fact that schools in Fairfax County are to be named after a street. However, exceptions have been made in case of schools such as Marshall High School and James Madison High School. I believe this is another exception that should be made for this honorable cause. Let’s choose James Adamouski as a new role model for Lee High School students, and have students of all colors and backgrounds be able to appreciate the value of that name.

 

I am a student at Langley High School. I’m writing this email to talk about renaming Lee High School. I was so happy to find out that the high school name is being changed because it is long overdue. We all know who Robert E. Lee was and what he did to the United States. Lee represented racism and discrimination in what he did during the Civil War. It's a pretty bad look having a high school named after someone racist so i’m very glad that the name is changing.

I believe that the name should be changed to “Adamouski High School” because Jimmy Adamouski is a Fairfax county native that in fact, went to war in Iraq and died serving his country. Fairfax county has produced some very successful people, but no one like Adamouski. From what I’ve heard, Adamouski was a great man and a very nice person. This is someone I think should represent a school in Fairfax County because he is an exemplary product of our schools. To add to this, Adamouski is the first Fairfax county that died in war. Jimmy died fighting for not only our country, but our whole country. Adamouski carried out and made a great name for Fairfax county so the only way to repay him is by doing this. Going through 12 years of school at Lee High School, then going to fight in the Iraq war is something that demands respect. As a community, we should honor his hard work by renaming the high school he went to with his name. 

Consider Robinson High School, named after someone who also died serving our country. It is only right if we honor Adamouski the same way. It is only right and fair to everyone if the name is changed to Lee High School to honor someone who served our country in a similar way like Robinson. People may bring up the fact that Adamouski has a facility named after him in Loudoun county, but let's be honest, that's in Loudoun whereas Lee High School is right in Fairfax county. Please consider all points and make the right decision!

 

I am a student at Langley High School. I am writing to you today to provide a suggestion for renaming Robert E. Lee High School.

While Robert E. Lee was a war hero, he is associated with some shameful things that should be associated with an FCPS high school. Having fought for the Confederacy during the Civil War, Lee is a symbol of slavery and racism, which should not be associated with our schools. This is why Lee High School should be named after someone who is worth remembering and holds up good standards of morale.

I would like to suggest the name “James Adamouski High School”. James Adamouski was the first American killed in the Iraq War. James Adamouski was a graduate of Robert E. Lee High School in 1991. He went to college at West Point Military Academy, and was Harvard bound until he died fighting for his country in a plane crash in the Iraq War in 2003. James always put others before him and his father said that he made a difference in every class he took. James left behind his wife of seven months and went to go fight for his country.

Similarly, James W. Robinson and Marshall High School are both schools named after war heros. James W. Robinson is named after the first American who died in the Vietnam War. Marshall High school is named for a hero in World War two.

Some may say that the name “Adamouski'' is hard to pronounce. While this may be true, James is a true embodiment of what we want in an FCPS school. He always put others before him and he made a difference in his classes and with the teachers he interacted with. James was friendly, loving, smart, selfless, and an inspiration for young people everywhere. The namesake of Lee High School should be one that the students of the school can look up to and not one with a controversial past. Naming schools after war heros can teach kids about unconventional people who impact our society but that we may not have heard of. By renaming Lee High School to James Adamouski High School we can inspire students to follow in his footsteps of this remarkable graduate.

 

I am a 11th grade student at Langley High School. Upon hearing that Lee High School was potentially being renamed, I wanted to voice my opinion on what I believe the name should be: Adamouski High School. James F. Adamouski was a Lee High School graduate in the class of "91 where he was an avid soccer player as well as participating in football, cross country, and winter track. After graduation he attended West Point, and became a Captain in the US Army before being killed in Iraq in 2003 due to a helicopter crash. Adamouski was preparing to attend Harvard University to study business after returning home, but was tragically prevented from doing do. He was the first Virginian and first West Point graduate to be killed in the Iraq War. Jimmy embodied all of the qualities that make up a well rounded student: scholar, athlete, involvement in his school and community, and overall good character. He is remembered fondly by those who knew him both early in his life as well as during his time in the Army indicating that his character did not depend on his circumstances, but was simply who he was. It is because of this genuine desire for the world to be a better place that Jimmy made such an impact on those he knew and that I believe his name should be considered as a replacement for Robert E. Lee's. 

 

I am a student of Fairfax County. I believe that Robert E. Lee High School should be renamed so that the school more accurately exemplifies what we stand for. It is important that the county has a name that we can be proud of and can commemorate.

I believe that the county should rename Robert E. Lee High School to Adamouski High School, after James Adamouski who died while serving our country. This would be similar to how Robinson Secondary School was also named after a war hero. James Adamouski was a graduate of Robert E. Lee High School and became a captain in the military. Adamouski was also the first West Point graduate to die in Iraq. He died with honor and pride while serving his country and deserves to be memorialized. He also had plans to attend the Harvard Business School, but sadly he was not able to achieve his goal. Adamouski was a man who was intelligent and had ambitious goals for his future. One of Adamouski’s favorite hobbies was soccer, some of his friends say that he was even good enough to compete professionally. This demonstrates that Adamouski was a man who had high spirits and was passionate for sports. Adamouski is the embodiment of what all students of Fairfax County should strive to be due to his academic success and natural talent. Adamouski is a hero and fallen veteran that we should honor.

Although Adamouski is a difficult name to pronounce, with just the spelling alone, it is unique and different from any other high school name. Naming Robert E. Lee High School after James Adamouski would honor him and his family. His name represents the honor our country stands for. In conclusion, the renaming of Robert E. Lee High School to Adamouski high School would act as an inspiration for all future generations.

 

 

I am an 11th grader at Langley High School. I have heard that The Board has decided to rename Robert E. Lee High School.
The decision to rename Robert E. Lee was well called for, as General Lee, although a war hero, was a man who is associated with some shameful aspects of our history that should not be associated with one of our FCPS high schools. Having fought for the Confederacy during the Civil War, Lee is a symbol of slavery and racism, two ideas that should not be affiliated with a school in a county as diverse as FCPS. This is why the current Lee High School should be named after someone who is worth remembering, someone who holds up to the morals and values of America, as well as the respect of society.

I would like to propose that Lee High School be renamed Adamouski High School, in honor of the late Captain of the US Army, James Adamouski. James, also known as Jimmy, was himself a graduate from Lee High School in 1991. He later went on to fulfill his education in economics at West Point Military Academy, and was Harvard bound until he died fighting for his country in a plane crash in the Iraq War in 2003. Jimmy made a profound difference in those who he interacted with, and according to his father, he lived his life with high standards and in school, he made a difference in every class, with every teacher he interacted with.

Jimmy was the first Westpoint graduate to die in the Iraq War. He died fighting for his country; even though his life was constantly in danger he fought for the safety and happiness of others, constantly putting others before himself. He showed his fellow West Point graduates and the rest of the world what it means to be a true hero. Jimmy left behind his family, including his wife of seven months, to put his life on hold and fight in this war for his country.

Some may say that Adamouski is hard to pronounce. While this is true, I urge you to think about what kind of character that name embodies. Jimmy was a true hero and also a good person; he was friendly, loving, smart, selfless, and an inspiration for young people everywhere. The namesake of Lee High School should be one that the students of the school can look up to, not one whose name is shrouded in controversy and reminds Americans of the mistakes we made in the past. The current Lee High School should be able to display Adamouski’s name proudly.

Naming the high school after Jimmy can follow the precedence set by the other FCPS high schools named after war heroes, Marshall High School and Robinson Secondary School. Naming schools after war heroes can teach those about these unconventional heroes that we do not learn about in school but have a profound impact on our society and lives. Even though many may not know Jimmy Adamouski, naming the school after him will inspire people to learn about and perhaps follow in the footsteps of this extraordinary FCPS graduate.

I strongly urge you to consider renaming Lee High School to Adamouski High School, in honor of the hero who graduated from Lee High School himself and put true meaning to what it means to be an American hero.

 

I am a student from Langley High School, and I have recently discovered that FCPS is proposing a change to rename Robert E. Lee High School. After realizing this, I honorably propose James F. Adamouski--a war hero, a West Point graduate, a Robert E. Lee High School graduate, a role model of all FCPS students--to be the new name for Robert E. Lee High School.

Although he might not be a popular figure and his name may be hard to write, Adamouski is an American war hero, and that is what matters. He was the first American captain who was sacrificed in Iraq, and he forever resembles an American soldier’s bravery, patriotism, and courage. Adamouski is the paramount choice to represent a FCPS high school; he is not as old as some other figures like Lee, he graduated from Lee High School, and no other school had used his name yet.

Adamouski is also a well representation of all of the Virginian soldiers from this area. When Loudoun County High School honored Adamouski, Eric Pavlik, a retired Ltc. and Adamouski’s friend, stated that Adamouski represents all the fallen service members from Virginia “very well”.

I sincerely hope that Adamouski can be a portrayal of FCPS. He graduated from Lee High School, he went to West Point, he is a war hero, and he will be honored by all the students who will go to the school of his name. It would be an honor for all of us if that comes true.

 

I am currently a Fairfax County history student at Langley High School. I write this letter in regards to the conflict involving the renaming of Robert E. Lee High School. I was ecstatic to hear that Fairfax County made the mature decision of renaming the High school due to the connotations and emotions associated with having a confederate general as the name of a High School. I fully agree with the need to alter the name and have a suggestion for the future name of the school. I believe that Captain James Adamouski would be the perfect candidate to rename Lee High School after. James Adamouski is extremely fit to be the new namesake of Lee High School because he gave his life for his country, represented the honor and courage that FCPS strives for, and attended the very same High School whose name is being changed.

Although Adamouski may not be as globally famous as some other candidates, he certainly exemplifies the bravery and sacrifice that defines America all while being from our very county. James Adamouski was a Fairfax County student all the way through to his graduation from Lee High School in 1991. Adamouski then attended West Point University where he thrived and later decided to join the army to defend and protect his beloved country. Adamouski was the first west point graduate but more importantly the first FCPS graduate to sacrifice himself in service during the Iraq War. James Adamouski sacrificed the ultimate price in order to honor our contry. We now have a rare opportunity to honor one of our own former students as well as set precedent of courage and sacrifice at soon to be Adamouski High School. The image associated with the name Adamouski is one of bravery, courage, and determination that all students would look to follow.