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Petersburg considering renaming 3 schools named for Confederate generals

PETERSBURG, Va. — The Petersburg School Board is asking for the community’s input as the city considers changing the names of three schools that are named for Confederate generals.

School board members met Wednesday night to discuss a proposal that would change the names J.E.B. Stuart, A.P. Hill, and Robert E. Lee Elementary schools.

“This is a new day in Petersburg City Public Schools. We must look to the future, not the past, to achieve our mission of developing 21st-century citizens able to effectively collaborate, communicate and innovate,” said School Board Chair Kenneth L. Pritchett in a memo to School Board members. “One way to symbolize this forward movement is to consider changing the names of the three schools that are named for Confederate generals.”

School Board members say they are seeking the input from Petersburg families, teachers, school employees, and community members.

The first public hearing to discuss the plans will be held 6 p.m. Jan. 4 at J.E.B. Stuart Elementary. Public meeting will also be held 6 p.m. Jan. 8 at A.P. Hill Elementary and 6 p.m. Jan. 9 at Robert E. Lee Elementary.

A bigger public hearing will also be held at 6 p.m. Jan. 17 in the cafeteria of Petersburg High School.

Community members who would like to weigh in on the potential renaming of the schools can also complete an online survey starting at 6 a.m. Jan. 4 through 11:59 p.m. Jan. 17.

A vote on whether or not to change the school names will be held at the February 7 School Board meeting.