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IT'S OFFICIAL: VA School Named For Robert E. Lee To Be Renamed To Honor The Late US Rep. John Lewis

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A school in Virginia will axe the name Robert E. Lee and it will be renamed to honor the late U.S. Representative/civil rights icon John R. Lewis. More inside…

 

A school in Virginia is changing the name of the school that was named after Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. It will now be renamed to honor the late U.S. Rep./civil rights icons John R. Lewis.

The Fairfax County School Board said the change will go into effected this fall. The school board listened to opinions from parents, teachers and staff for a month about the name change. They hosted virtual town hall meetings and public hearings before voting to change the school’s name to John R. Lewis High School.

The new name is tribute to the civil rights legend/congressman who died last week after a battle with pancreatic cancer. His name was actually on the school board’s list of name changes before he passed away.

WJLA reports:

"Last night we heard from so many community members, students, and alumni about the amazing things that John Lewis did during his life. And I think many people would be proud to have that as the name of their school. I think it would be an honor for the community as well as I hope, the congressman's family," said School Board Member Tamara Derenak Kaufax.

The unanimous vote in favor of changing the school's name to John R. Lewis High School took place just before 6 p.m. Thursday.

“The Board heard from students, teachers, and staff members, families, and the community about the old name,” said School Board Chair Ricardy Anderson. “It was important for us to be mindful of these comments and to select a name that reflected the diversity and multiculturalism that currently exists at the school and in our community. Rep. Lewis was a champion of the Civil Rights movement, and our Board strongly believes this is an appropriate tribute to an individual who is a true American hero. We will also honor his life’s work by continuing to promote equity, justice, tolerance and service in the work that we do.”

Several board members clapped and cheered when the unanimous vote was announced.

Nice! Name changes are good and all, but what are they doing to make sure schools in underprivileged neighborhoods are being funded so that those students have the same access to materials as other students?

 

By the way...

John Lewis’ Family has scheduled a week-long celebration of his life leading up to his funeral on Thursday that will be held at Atlanta’s historic Ebenezer Baptist Church.

The AJC reports:

Each day of memorial services has been given a theme. Saturday’s is “The Boy from Troy.”

A public memorial is planned for 10 a.m. CDT at Troy University’s Trojan Arena. Seating is limited to 800 people, and tickets must be obtained outside of the facility to attend.

Members of Lewis’ family will speak and gospel artist Dottie Peoples is scheduled to perform. Lewis will lie in repose from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. CDT at the same location.

Later that evening there will be a service at Brown Chapel A.M.E. Church in Selma, which is the church where Lewis and other activists received attention after being beaten during a 1965 voting rights protest that came to be known as “Bloody Sunday.”

Lewis will lie in repose outside Brown Chapel from 8 to 11 p.m. CDT.

Crowds will likely line the street Sunday morning at 10 a.m. CDT to see Lewis cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge one last time. The theme of the day: “Good Trouble.”

Alabama state officials will receive Lewis’ casket in at the Capitol in Montgomery, and he will lie in state there from 3 to 7 p.m. CDT.

Monday and Tuesday have been given the theme “Conscience of the Congress.” A private ceremony will be held at 2 p.m. inside the U.S. Capitol Rotunda.

His casket will then be moved to the East Front Steps for a public viewing. Members of the public will be allowed to line up on the East Plaza to file past Lewis’ casket on Monday from 3 to 10 p.m. and Tuesday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

He reaches Atlanta, his final resting place, on Wednesday. The theme: “Atlanta’s Servant Leader.”

Lewis will lie in state at the Georgia Capitol Rotunda from 3 to 7 p.m. and again from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. the next morning. Members of the public will again receive the opportunity to file past his casket.

Members of his fraternity, Phi Beta Sigma, will host a special service at the Capitol at 7 p.m.

Details about Thursday’s funeral have not yet been announced other than the location, Lewis’ home church, and that the private service will begin at 11 a.m.

Lewis will be buried Thursday at South-View Cemetery.

May he rest in power!

Photo:  Kathy Hutchins/Shutterstock.com

 

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