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Baton Rouge high school gets new name amid racism outcries

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Posted at 8:43 PM, Jul 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-17 21:43:32-04

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A Baton Rouge high school that bears the name of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee is getting a new name.

The East Baton Rouge Parish School Board agreed Thursday, on an 8-1 vote, to rename Lee High School to Liberty High School in response to years of outcry over the former name and recent protests against racism and police brutality. Board member Tramelle Howard cast the lone vote against but didn’t say why, The Advocate reported.

Opponents of the Lee name said it was inappropriate for a school that is 80% Black to be named after a Confederate leader and slave owner.

School officials agreed Lee High should be renamed amid growing pressure and in past weeks drew thousands of suggestions from the public on what it should be called next. Liberty High was picked over other recommendations including Louisiana Magnet High School and P.B.S. Pinchback Magnet High School, after Louisiana’s and the country’s first Black governor.

Superintendent Warren Drake said the name change will cost an estimated $250,000 to $300,000. It’s expected to be in place before the school year starts on Aug. 6.

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