Everyday when I walk into my high school in San Antonio, Texas, I'm entering an establishment named after a Confederate general who not only fought to preserve the enslavement of human beings but fought against the United States -- Robert E. Lee.
In the wake of the Charleston shooting that took the lives of nine African Americans who were simply going to church, I can tell you that as a young black student, it's not easy or right to have learn in a place that honors a man like Robert E. Lee.
We often forget that the Confederacy was doing an act of treason, an act of betrayal. It's not patriotic to celebrate a man who fought against his country and had he won, the owning, selling, raping, and lynching of black people would have prevailed.
Such a thing should not be honored.
We've rightfully started a conversation about honoring the people and symbols that drove Dylan Roof to commit such an atrocity. And even my high school has long removed the confederate flag from flying, though a mosaic confederate symbol is still paved into campus grounds.
School names have been changed before. In fact, in 2013 a Change.org petition helped change the name of Nathan Bedford Forrest High School, named after a KKK leader and Confederate general, in Jacksonville, Florida. The Stonewall Jackson Davis middle school, was once named after Jefferson Davis but changed because many believed it condoned slavery.
We could easily do the same with Robert E. Lee High School, only changing the first name of the school to honor someone like George W. Lee, a civil rights activist, or even someone like Cesar Chavez who was a Hispanic civil rights activist.
Although we can not erase our past, we must not celebrate parts of our past that were most treacherous, and continuing to let the Robert E. Lee name live on is doing just that. This school is far overdue for a name change.
Please sign and help try to make a change to this name.