Community Meeting Feedback
Feedback from March 11 Community Meeting
Do you support changing the name or not? What reasons support your point of view?
Support Changing the Name
Unanimous support of name change. (5 current students, 2 alumni)
Robert E. Lee was a confederate general.
Doesn’t embody the student diversity that exists at our school.
Change is inevitable due to the ripple effect from Justice name change.
Confederate names drive a negative connotation to who the students are.
I fully support the name change for obvious reasons, which the current name’s Confederate era. Therefore, I would like to see a new name that is more inclusive of this new Virginian generation that represents a multitude of diverse ethnic backgrounds.
I support the name change. Robert E. Lee’s legacy, albeit memorable in the minds of many Virginians, is inherently problematic.
Why should we change the name? Because these names were instated to slow the civil rights movement and we need to undo that and our complicity in white supremacy.
We are FAMILEE. Yes, BUT this should not be the priority.
- Ranked as worst in FCPS High Schools
- Smallest, move diverse
- Best student to teacher ratio 13:1
- Commit equal resources to making Lee better school as spent on name change
- Name change only will not fix Lee
- Engage students
“Liberty and justice for all” – no Confederate stood for that
Will history be forgotten?
Teach history of school’s name to students.
Civil War → African-American participation
Revolutionary War → African-American participation
Create a more welcoming environment
Reflect a wider diversity of people
3 people wanted to change the name (in the group)
(Support name change) Opposed to changing mascot and school colors!
No public building should be named after an individual. Public opinions change through generations.
If name needs to be changed, keeping Lee in the name could be a simple compromise and may minimize the cost.
Please keep Lancer mascot and school colors.
Confederate soldier who fought against the US and should not be celebrated.
We support the name change.
“½ & ½ support” - we understand why people want to change the name and understand it’s likely to change – but hard to have history erased.
General thoughts: Maybe keep Lee name (drop Robert E.). This is the Lee District and Henry Lee was a hero/important to Revolutionary War.
Keep Lancers & colors. Families, kids, booster clubs can’t re-purchase spirit wear (more than just uniforms).
Rename specific to NOVA/FFX County.
Name with an “L” to keep design
Yes, change the name.
- Communities make decisions about what they value, and we value inclusion of all.
- Consider student voice before doing so.
- Can we consider fundraising rather than taxpayer money?
- Turf one less field to cover the cost.
- Find additional ways to get parents input since the demographic isn’t always able to attend traditional forums
In support of the name change:
- Students have a lot pride in Lancers. Keep the colors & “Lancers” name as well as mascot!!
- Keep continuity
- Reference location, area, or attribute of this region
- Listen to the students who are so passionate about this HS – what are the saying?
Several community members question promoting the history behind Lee HS by naming HS to commemorate Gen. Lee
When we name a HS after a confederate general, we are sending a clear message that says “Go Away”
Student perspective: It’s hard to take pride in your school when the man the school is named after has a history students can’t be proud of.
Support change of name to LEE (with reservations). Very concerned to the $450,000 could be better spent on academics, vocational tech and capital repairs (not top concern for one member but still a serious concern). Take balance of money saved by keeping Lee name and spend it on improving the school. Very concerned school board has already made up its mind and this meeting is just for show.
2 yes – (name) does not foster an inclusive environment as in FCPS mission statement
Be sure to keep the Lancers
Yes, we all support changing the name
- Name chosen to oppose desegregation/integration
- Lee family were violent enslavers – including R. E. Lee and Lighthorse Henry
- Relic of era of oppression
- Students shouldn’t have to carry this name on their backs & diplomas
- Embarrassing to parents & students to name the school they attend, especially parents of color
- These images, symbols and names continue to inspire violence (e.g. Charleston, SC & Charlottesville, VA)
- First steps toward reparations in our community.
Do not support changing the name
Keep Robert E. Lee or Lee HS because:
- Lee voting district
- Lee RECenter
- Campus is on Lee family property
- Use name change $ to improve Lee HS
Why erase history? President Lincoln asked Gen. Lee 1st to command the Union Army; Lee didn’t want to turn his back on his state (VA). Why are other landmarks/schools named after historic figures who owned slaves being targeted?
Financial analysis – spend the $ on education.
6 people wanted to keep the name (in the group)
Lee was progressive on the issue of race for his time
- Opposed slavery pre-Civil War “a moral and political evil”
- Opposed secession
- Freed Custis slaves mid Civil War
- Promoted racial reconciliation after the war
- Good man who lived during a terrible time. He was forced to choose between his country and family.
Not in support of name change.
Cost for name change – money could be put to better use.
Concerned where we draw the line on these changes.
No, do not change the name:
- The cost to change the name can be used for other needs that directly impact instruction.
- There was community fall out when FCPS went through this with another school.
- Renaming the HS erases our nation’s historical influences.
- Student voice needs to be considered first to reflect their opinions.
- Lack of trust between stakeholders and the School Board. How can we implement accountability measures?
Lukewarm – it’s just a name and you can’t change history. We understand why some people want to change it. Robert E. Lee was not born in Fairfax County. The original name of the school was Lee HS. It will cost the county in general, and the Lee community specifically over $1 million to change the name. Spending this money is irresponsible given the school’s free and reduced lunch rate. Look at the Sports Boosters budget and the PTSA budget and you will see there is no way we can raise any more money. Any extra money in FCPS would be better spent on academics, more faculty for small classes to expand course offerings at Lee, and career preparation.
We are in the Lee District. We are named after our district. The rec center was renamed recently back to Lee Rec Center.
Changing the name to any other name except Lee HS will not enhance any student’s learning at Lee HS or in Lee Pyramid.
What good will this do?
There are better ways to support the school & students.
1975 graduate never of this as an evil school/name for a school.
Robert E. Lee is part of our history. Changing the name is wasting community money.
If student were taught the true history of Robert E. Lee, then they would not be upset or offended by the name.
1983 graduate’s family is related to Robert E. Lee – Mr. Lee was not someone who would hurt or try to upset anyone. He was a true gentleman.
“It upsets me because it’s my alma mater. I loved and still do love this school. My brother graduated from here, my sister, me, & my husband.”
Robert E. Lee saved St. Louis by re-routing the Mississippi River.
He freed his father-in-law’s slaves in 1862 from Arlington, Romancoke, and the White House signing the document in 12/29/1862. His document had force unlike the Emancipation Proclamation.
Robert E. Lee was a lifelong Virginian born to a Revolutionary War soldier and his wife. The Civil War last 4 years. He chose Virginia because that was his country at the time.
Robert E. Lee is a Mexican War Veteran!!
Robert E. Lee is credited for helping unify the country following the war.
2 No – where does the name changing stop? Cost $
We feel name change will be inevitable.
We would like to know how this will be funded.
No, do not support
We spend enough $ in the county and should not spend money on this. Help the children and the school versus changing the name that does nothing to support the children, teachers, PTA, community, sports teams here or anything for the school’s issues.
What are we showing our students by spending 800,000-1,000,000+ to change a name instead of teaching them history, the value of a dollar, and more.
No: Not enough RESEARCH.
History between why to name R.E. Lee (1958) vs R.E. Lee the PERSON
i.e. The war vs the man
No: COST!! Can it be afforded? Where will it come from aka from who’s budget?
If you support changing the name, what name(s) do you suggest that reflects an inclusive and respectful learning environment?
Harriet Tubman (1 member)
Geographic name i.e. Springfield, Franconia
Another leader’s name would be fighting controversy with controversy
New Horizons is the name I propose.
MLK High School is what propose.
New Frontiers – it sounds sort of cool and sci-fi and we could keep Lancers.
Audre Lorde HS – because we deserve Black Queer women’s representation
Susan B. Anthony
Lee (w/o R.E.)
Neutral name - Springfield HS, Katherine Johnson HS, Lee HS (original name)
Springfield HS Lancers
Legacy High School
Central Springfield HS
Gerald Bruce Lee (retired federal judge)
Stan Lee (speaking for our kids!)
East Springfield Lancers
Central Springfield Lancers
New name: Lee High School
Robert E. Lee High School
Just Lee would be ok too
Lee High School
Not any LEE
Springfield or Franconia
A woman Supreme Court justice
Legacy of Educational Excellence (L.E.E.)
New Frontier HS
Cesar Chavez HS
Booker T. Washington HS
Wilder HS (Douglas Wilder)
Audre Lorde HS
Harriet Tubman HS
Katherine Johnson HS
Rosa Parks HS
Choose a name from section 27 at Arlington National Cemetery (R.E. Lee’s slaves who fled are buried there)
Julian Bond HS