EBR School Board hosts public forum over possibly renaming Lee High School

EBR school board hosts public forum over possibly renaming Lee High School
(Source: WAFB)
(Source: WAFB)

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The public got the chance to give their opinions about the new Lee High School and possibly changing its name.

It was a house divided Thursday night as parents, teachers and students voiced their opinions over whether to rename the school.

Much of the discussion though was not about the nearly $55 million facility, but instead the Confederate general it's named after and the country's
rocky history with slavery.

"You're not going to go up in Jewish people's face and say forget the Holocaust, let's just go back home," said one speaker.

"Lincoln said that if I can get through this war without freeing a single slave, I will," another speaker added.

It is the second time the topic has been taken up by the public. The first meeting was not well attended, but East Baton Rouge School Superintendent Warren Drake said participation Thursday night was vital as the board moves closer to making a final decision.

"I thought we had a great crowd here. I thought that the process is something we need to go through. We want to make sure everyone has an opportunity to speak about this topic and are respected in the process," Drake said.

While the meeting was oftentimes heated, some said it is past time the community had this conversation and they applauded the school board for allowing the public the opportunity to voice their concerns.

"We did that today," said Daniel Banguel. "We brought people from different parts of Baton Rouge, from different backgrounds and they spoke and I'm very proud to say we accomplished that. At least there was some dialogue in this conversation today."

The school board is expected to vote on the measure at its June 16 meeting.

There are a couple ways for people to still share their comments and suggestions, including a texting option, which will be available until midnight Friday.

A link is also available for people to submit their comments online. It will be open until the close of business Monday, June 9.

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