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Removing the Robert E. from Robert E. Lee High School

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BATON ROUGE - Before the new Lee High School opens, there's some controversy over the origin of its name.

At a meeting Tuesday evening, a committee came up with recommendations for new names in an attempt to distance the school from its confederate namesake, Robert E. Lee.

One suggestion: "Lee Magnet High School". The panel member that made that suggestion said the name would then come from the street the school sits on, Lee Drive, failing to realize the street is also named for the Confederate General.

"This is just to fool the public, to make them think that they went through the process, but this is already set up," East Baton Rouge Parish School Board member Veretta Lee says.

It's also worth noting that the name the panel suggested Tuesday is the same one already flying on a banner in front of the new school. The sign out front already omits the "Robert E." from "Robert E. Lee High School". With the simple "Lee High School" not among the recommendations, the name will now be a costly correction.

Student Tyari Heard says if it has to stay "Lee", she'd like to see the school linked to another famous family.

"I proposed Harper Lee because of her activism, and what she stood for, and her opposition to racism and that nature," she told News 2's Brett Buffington.

The top three names proposed will be presented at Thursday's school board meeting. It's not clear how costly changing the signage would be.


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