BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - When Baton Rouge's new Lee High School opens in August, more than buildings could be different.
The new version may also go by a different name. Controversy over the school, which is named after Confederate general Robert E. Lee has been brewing for quite some time and the East Baton Rouge Parish School Board voted to approve the measure without recommendation Thursday night, meaning they will take it up at a later date.
More than a dozen people testified during the public comment portion of the meeting, which lasted more than an hour with several people speaking well past their time limit mainly about the confederate general Robert E. Lee and his reputation.
Some defended the general saying he was not a bad person while others called him out as a traitor to the country, saying honoring him by naming a school after him is not right.
The question was brought up about the cost associated with trying to make any changes to the school. Officials at the meeting say construction is done and any cosmetic changes could land in the ball park of roughly $250,000 to $300,000.
Obviously there was a lot of passionate debate on both sides of the issue but perhaps none was more emotional than board member Dawn Collins who was brought to tears by the division.
"I'm literally in tears because that's how divisive this is. I have to cry to not be pissed off and angry and curse at how absurd it is that this is even a question... that this is even a damn question," said board member Dawn Collins.
Board members are expected to bring up the issue at a later time but have not said exactly when that will be.