Hillsborough school board member wants to change name of Robert E. Lee Elementary School

Tampa, FL (WFLA) –  Friday was the last day of school in Hillsborough County and when school resumes in the fall, it’s likely one elementary school will be in the middle of a battle over its name, Robert E. Lee Elementary.

The school was named after Confederate General Robert E. Lee in 1943. The original name of the school was Michigan Avenue Grammar School, because it was on what was then known as Michigan Avenue.

School board member Tammy Shamburger plans to ask the board to consider renaming Lee. She believes the time is right to do so.

“Now, in keeping with the national conversation about the Confederate statues that are coming down all across the country, it’s really just revived itself here in Tampa,” Shamburger said.

Not everyone agrees. Al McCray, an African American member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, thinks this is nothing more than political grandstanding and the name doesn’t affect learning.

”Why should it change? The kids are not being less educated because of the name on the building,” he said.

Once the board receives the request for the name change, they have no less than 18 months for community involvement, deliberation, discussion and debate prior to taking action.

Shamburger plans to make the recommendation at the next board meeting on June 13.

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