A school previously named after a former Confederate general will be opening its doors this fall under a new name — that of the first African-American president.
J.E.B. Stuart Elementary School in Richmond, Virginia — a city which itself served for some time as the Confederacy’s capital city — will be renamed to honor former President Barack Obama in the next school year.
The name change means that no school in the Richmond School District will honor anyone tied to the Confederate States of America any longer — J.E.B. Stuart Elementary was the last remaining school doing so.
The 6-1 school board decision will rename the building Barack Obama Elementary School. The lone vote against the decision didn’t necessarily oppose changing the name from the Confederate general. Kenya Gibson, who cast the vote against naming the school after Obama, wanted to delay the vote to consider other names, including individuals who are more relevant to the area.
Still, many of the board members said they were excited about the name change.
“It would be pretty awesome to have an elementary school in Richmond named after Barack Obama,” board member Liz Doerr said.
Some individuals across America have questionably opposed removing Confederate monuments and buildings recognizing those who fought for or promoted the idea to split the country in two. But the removal of these monuments is long-past due — these individuals stood against freedom, and fought for the preservation of slavery on this continent.
The school board in Richmond’s decision to change the name of its school, and to instead honor the first black president, sends a strong message that we should celebrate and honor Americans who promote positive changes in society. Although not necessarily needing to honor Obama, other schools across the country that still honor Confederate generals should make similar changes as well.