On July 20, a petition was launched to rename a Long Beach elementary school honoring Robert E. Lee.
NBC Los Angeles reports that Los Angeles Urban Policy Roundtable (LAUPR) president, Earl Ofari Hutchinson, spoke at a press conference announcing the petition and presented “22 endorsements from civil rights leaders.”
Another member of the LAUPR was scheduled to speak to the Long Beach School Board Monday night. Hutchinson said, “The Board’s decision to hear public testimony is a good first step toward scraping Confederate names from one of its public schools. However, it must now take the final step and rename the school.”
The school is currently named Robert E. Lee Middle School.
On the petition webpage, Hutchinson is quoted as saying:
With this action school officials will send the strong message that Long Beach, California is truly dedicated to insuring that the names on its schools reflect those who are dedicated to and uphold the highest ideals of freedom, justice and civil rights for all.
The petition itself says, “Let Long Beach school officials and the world know that a public school that many children of color attend named after the man who is the nation’s most prominent name and face for preserving slavery and treason will not be tolerated.”
This action comes less than a week after the Fresno City Council voted to ban the Confederate flag from city-owned property.
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This post has been corrected to indicate that the school is an elementary school, not a middle school.