Nov 12, 2022 - Politics & Policy

2 Alabama schools to strip Confederate namesakes

A Confederate flag in Alabama is pictured. Photo: Ty Wright/Getty Images

Two high schools in Montgomery, Alabama, will remove the namesakes of Confederate leaders.

Driving the news: The Montgomery County Board of Education voted 5-2 Thursday to give new names to Robert E Lee High School and Jefferson Davis High School, local station WSFA reports.

  • The first will become the Dr. Percy Julian High School and the other will be called JAG High School, an acronym for civil rights movement figures Judge Frank Johnson, the Rev. Ralph Abernathy and the Rev. Robert Graetz.
  • The move comes two years after the school board vowed to remove the Confederate names.

By the numbers: The schools opened in the 1950s and 1960s with a mostly white student population. But now more than 85% of students are African American, per AP.

What they're saying: "Our job is to make our spaces comfortable for our kids," Superintendent Melvin Brown said per WSFA.

  • "Bottom line is we’re going to make decisions based on what our kids needs may be, not necessarily on sentiment around whatever nostalgia may exist."

Zoom out: George Floyd's murder and the protests that followed against police violence and racism caused a reckoning that sparked the removal, relocation or renaming of dozens of Confederate memorials nationwide.

Go deeper: Richmond's last Confederate statue can be removed, judge rules

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