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Virginia schools dropping Confederate names

PETERSBURG, VA (WWBT) A school board in Virginia voted Wednesday to rename three elementary schools that are currently named after Confederate leaders.

Petersburg School Board officials will now change the names of A.P. Hill, J.E.B. Stuart and Robert E. Lee elementary schools, effective July 1, to Cool Springs, Pleasants Lane, and Lakemont, respectively.

Some residents questioned if the decision was already made, after a Henrico woman donated $20,000 to get rid of the Confederate names. That puts the district well over the $18,000 it says it will cost to change the names.

The issue brought about a heated debate last month at a public forum about the school names. At one point, tensions flared when some in the crowd were upset Confederate supporters who aren't local were there to weigh in, saying the name change is a waste of money.

The school board listened to all these concerns, and after weeks, formed their own opinion.

"When we say we want to remember someone, just be reminded we can do that in other ways, like creating a bust or a statue and putting it somewhere where everyone can see it," said school board member Steven Pierce.

Some residents questioned if the decision was already made, after a Henrico woman donated $20,000 to get rid of the Confederate names. That puts the district well over the $18,000 it says it will cost to change the names.


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