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Columbia board renames Robert E. Lee Elementary School

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Columbia education officials are renaming an elementary school to remove its reference to Robert E. Lee amid a national movement to reconsider recognizing Confederacy symbols.

The Columbia Missourian reports that the Columbia Board of Education unanimously decided Monday to rename Robert E. Lee Elementary School to the Locust Street Expressive Arts Elementary School.

A renaming committee comprised of residents, parents, a former student and school employees recommended the new name. Committee member Alex Barker says the school’s name should make students feel welcome and included.

Resident Joseph Chevalier says the name must be removed because Lee fought to preserve slavery.

But some residents argued against the name change, citing tradition.

Resident Clark Odor presented a petition against the renaming with more than 30 signatures. Odor says the school is a “landmark of the neighborhood.”

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Information from: Columbia Missourian, http://www.columbiamissourian.com

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