Change the name of Lusher Charter school so that it does not honor a white supremacist.

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Robert Mills Lusher was a Confederate tax collector and avowed white supremacist who, as superintendent of education for the state of Louisiana worked tirelessly to, according to jounalist Robert Morris, "advocate publicly for the education of white students to maintain the race’s advantage over black people, and promot[ed] the arguments that education money was 'wasted' on blacks, who remained better suited to physical labor. "

Lusher also thought that “it is indispensable to the future honor and prosperity of Louisiana, and to the supremacy of the Caucasian race in her councils, that the benefits of liberal education should be extended to every white child within her limits."

We need to let Kathy Riedlinger (CEO of Lusher) and the Lusher School Board know that it is not acceptable that they continue to honor the racist and evil deeds and ideas that Robert Mills Lusher made his life's work by allowing his name to adorn a school in New Orleans. We therefore demand that they immediately change the title of the school currently bearing his name to one that honors the diverse experiences, hopes and dreams of the children who they purport to care for and educate every day. 

As Tamir Bryant, a former Lusher student stated in his petition 3 years ago, "The name Lusher Charter School is not only one that is disrespectful to the African American population at Lusher, but to the culture that has been cultivated in New Orleans as a whole." What does keeping the Lusher name say to students like Tamir, or to anyone, about the values of the school?

It is time to lay the mantle of the Lost Cause and the Confederacy to rest, and show the current and former students of Lusher Charter School that their school's commitment to (from their website) "dream, evolve and improve" are not just empty phrases, but a commitment to set a more inclusive agenda for the future of the school.