Change Robert E. Lee Elementary School in Washington to Unity Elementary School

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Robert E. Lee Elementary in East Wenatchee, Washington should be renamed to Unity Elementary. 

Robert E. Lee Elementary was built in 1953 and named after the commander of the Confederate States Army, who betrayed his country and fought against the end of slavery in the civil war. When schools are named after individuals, those names should be reserved for historical figures with overwhelmingly positive moral character and favorable impact on the local community. In this millennium, to many, Robert E. Lee is a traitor and racist icon and should not be memorialized in a school name.

Robert E. Lee Elementary is the only school in the Pacific Northwest named after the civil war traitor. Washington wasn't even a state during the civil war and any ties to the Confederate States Army in the area in the 1950s would have been very distant. The school was named 88 years after the civil war, when many were creating Confederate monuments to show resistance to the civil rights era and opposition to desegregation, clearly not stances that should be memorialized in a school name.

The school district debated renaming the school in the past and decided against it, as there was overwhelmingly negative local response to changing the name. In scenarios like this, the school district needs to act in the best interest of its students regardless of how the 80% white population feels about the matter and should move forward with renaming the school to Unity Elementary, a name that would represent the positive opposite of what Robert E. Lee symbolizes in 2019.