Staunton School Board to discuss high school name at Oct. 8 meeting

staunton city schoolsThe Staunton School Board will discuss the name of Robert E. Lee High School on Monday, Oct. 8 during its regular meeting and could take a vote on whether to keep or change the name following the discussion.

Because of the community’s considerable interest in the outcome of this issue, the School Board has moved the location of its Oct. 8 meeting to the Gypsy Hill Gym in Gypsy Hill Park, to accommodate a broader audience. As is required for any School Board meeting, all attendees are expected to conduct themselves with civility.

Review of VCIC Report

The School Board met on Sept. 28 for its scheduled retreat, an open meeting, to review and discuss several subjects in depth, including the report from the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities (VCIC) on diversity and inclusivity in Staunton City Schools.

Because a significant portion of the VCIC report involved the name of the high school, School Board members’ discussion of the report focused on that topic and included the following:

  • the sharing of feedback Board members have received from constituents directly and through the VCIC report;
  • current viewpoints of each Board member on the matter;
  • Board members’ readiness to take a vote on the name;
  • how the Board and school administrators might engage students, staff and the public in helping to decide the issue and heal divisions, as recommended by VCIC;
  • how the Board can honor the complete history of Staunton’s high schools, as recommended by VCIC; and
  • possible names for the high school if there is a majority vote to change the name.

The retreat agenda was posted on the school division’s website and a meeting notice was provided to the media on Sept. 21.

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