MONROE, La (KTVE) – A committee has been formed and will be taking public input next week on a new name for Robert E. Lee Junior High School in Monroe after the school board approved the name change last month.
The decision to change the name came as the result of petition that gathered thousands of signatures. According to the Monroe City Schools Policy Manual, no school can be named after a living person. It’s up to the superintendent to get name suggestions.
Some in the community were still unaware that the process to change the name was underway, but several said they agreed that a change is needed.
“I mean I think it’s necessary just because the history and everything that’s associated with that. We could definitely change it to something better,” said Monroe resident John Garett Smith
“I want people to feel comfortable with history and if they want to tear it down because it’s still offensive in this day and time…I understand,” said Chris Tyler.
Suggestions given range from preserving Monroe’s history to using other schools in the area.
“I wish it would be Monroe-related or something like that,” said Smith. “You know, something that showcases the history of Monroe. Maybe a prominent business leader or something like that in Monroe’s history.”
“Maybe if they name it Neville Junior something like that would be comfortable for me. Or Lexington Middle School, you know, who knows?” said Tyler.
One woman wants to honor a family member who worked at Lee Junior High before he passed away.
“Yes because he worked so hard at that school. He’s not with us anymore, but I think his family would be so proud,” said Augustine Cann.
While the name change is up for discussion, one resident says it’s still a part of history.
“If it makes people happy, great. I just feel like you know history is history. It is what it is. Either accept what the history is; quit trying to change it,” said Tyler.
Committee members are:
- Marie Brown
- Ben Peters
- Dr. Talitha Elliott
- Dr. Pamela Saulsberry
- Donniel Hooter
- Stewart Shelby
- Sandie Lollie
- Hilary Sirmon
- Christine Michener
- David Sorrell
- John Navarro
- Shelton Spivey
They will be having a community meeting on July 27 at 6 p.m. at Lee Junior High School. Those planning to attend should be aware of the following guidelines:
- A Request to Speak Form must be submitted.
- No forms will be accepted after 6:15 p.m.
- Participants will be called by name to the floor.
- Participants will speak once and is limited to two minutes.
- Community meeting can be viewed here
- Masks are required.