Columbia Board of Education approves name change for Lee Elementary
COLUMBIA - The Columbia School Board voted in favor of changing the name of Robert E. Lee Elementary School to Locust Street Expressive Arts Elementary School.
Presently, the school is named after the Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. Parents and members of the community voiced their concerns about that in August of 2017.
Columbia School Board President Jan Mees said she hope the community's response to the new name will be positive.
"We have heard from the people on all sides of the issue as to how they feel," she said. "Things have changed over the last 100 and how many years since it was first named in 1905 by that sitting board of education."
Mees said the name will become official in the records at the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education following the 2018-2018 school year.
There are plans to renovate the school in a few years. Mees said the removal of the cement engraving of Robert E. Lees name as well as other engraved signs will be removed.
Mees said she wants to emphasize that a name is more than a reflection of a sitting board of education.
She said it is a reflection of "what is going on within the building, the climate and culture in that building which makes the educational mission of that school what is important."