An online survey launched a week ago asking for new names for Lee High School has received more than 4,200 responses so far, though some respondents only offered comments but no new new names, said a spokeswoman for the East Baton Rouge Rouge Parish school system.
“Some are not so nice," said spokeswoman Taylor Gast. “And it’s people from all over.”
The short survey, which went live June 22, will close this coming Thursday. The School Board plans to pick a new name for the 61-year-old high school when it meets July 16.
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The school’s name has been a flash point for years. From 1959 to 2016, it was named Robert E. Lee High, after the Confederate general. In June 2016, the School Board voted to remove “Robert E.” from the name, but keep the rest.
On June 18, the board voted unanimously to go further and remove Lee from the school name in favor of a name still to be determined. A special committee has been formed to come up to come up with three recommendations for the board to consider. The committee will consider the names suggested the most, but has latitude to recommend whichever names it deems best, Gast said.
In 2016, a similar committee came back with three suggestions, none of which were adopted: Lee Magnet High, Harper Lee Magnet High and Southdowns Magnet High. Members of the public offered many more suggestions back then, including Red Stick High, River City High, as well Edwin Hubble High and Albert Einstein High.
Four years after balking at the change, the East Baton Rouge Parish School Board is poised to change the name of Lee High School, which has be…
The new school-renaming committee is set to hold an in-person public forum July 13 from 6 to 8 p.m. The forum was to take place next door to the School Board Office at the Instructional Resource Center, 1022 S. Foster Drive. That, however, changed late Monday. The forum is now set to take place at the Professional Development Center, 3000 N. Sherwood Forest Drive.
The new renaming committee has 13 members, including School Board President Mike Gaudet, whose district includes Lee High, and board member Dadrius Lanus, who revived the issue on June 9 when he requested the school be renamed.
Three are Lee High staff members: Assistant Principal Shawona Ross, Athletic Director Brandon White and math teacher Aaron Angel. Three more committee members are Lee High students; the school system has yet to release their names.
The five remaining individuals named to the community are listed as “community members:” Lyla DeBlieux, Corey Delahoussaye, Cleve Dunn Jr., Walter “Geno” McLaughlin and Mary Mikell.
This story has been updated.