MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – Two excessive schools within the Alabama capital, a hub of the civil rights motion, will not bear the names of (*2*) leaders.
The Montgomery County Board of Education voted on new names for Jefferson Davis High School and Robert E Lee High School on Thursday, information shops reported.
Lee turns into Dr. Percy Julian High School. Davis turns into JAG High School, which represents three figures within the civil rights motion: Justice Frank Johnson, Rev. Ralph Abernathy, and Rev. Robert Graetz.
The schools opened as all or largely white within the Nineteen Fifties and Nineteen Sixties, however now serve college students which are greater than 85% African American.
“Our process is to make our rooms snug for our youngsters. The backside line is that we’ll make selections based mostly on what our youngsters want and never essentially based mostly on emotions of nostalgia,” mentioned Superintendent Melvin Brown, as reported by WSFA-TV.
Julian was a chemist and trainer who was born in Montgomery. Johnson was a federal decide whose selections helped finish segregation and implement voting rights. Abernathy was a pastor and chief of the civil rights motion. Graetz was the one white pastor who overtly supported the Montgomery bus boycott and was the goal of jeers and bombings.
The new college names got here two years after schooling officers vowed to drop the (*2*) namesakes. A debate over the college names started amid protests over racial inequality following the police killing of George Floyd in Minnesota. Someone tore down a statue of Lee in entrance of his eponymous college throughout the demonstrations.
Like many different (*2*)-name schools, Lee — named after the (*2*) Army common — opened as an all-white college in 1955, at a time when the South was actively combating integration. Davis, named for the (*2*) President, opened in 1968. But white flight to integration orders and altering demographics brought on schools to grow to be closely African American.
The Montgomery City Council final 12 months voted to rename Jeff Davis Avenue Attorney Fred D. Gray. Gray grew up on the streets throughout the Jim Crow period, representing shoppers like Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks.
After the road identify change, the Alabama Attorney General’s Office ordered metropolis officers to pay a $25,000 fantastic or face a lawsuit for violating a state legislation defending (*2*) monuments and different longstanding monuments. The metropolis paid the fantastic to take away the (*2*) reference.