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Virginia high school renamed to honor John Lewis

Virginia high school renamed to honor John Lewis”

The Fairfax County School Board held a one-month public comment period on possible new names, and held a virtual city council meeting and public hearing, before voting to rename the school Thursday to John R. Lewis High School. "We will also honor his life's work by continuing to promote equity, justice, tolerance and service in the work that we do". His fight for racial justice began in Georgia in the 1960s.

"The Board read from college students, instructors and staff members users, family members, and the neighborhood about the previous name", school board Chair Ricardy Anderson stated in the news launch.

"We heard from many community members, students, and alumni about the awesome things John Lewis did during his life". A news release posted on the school district's website says the new name will be effective for the 2020-21 school year.

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Lee District School Board member Tamara Derenak Kaufax proposed a resolution to remove the Confederate general's name from the school back in February, reports USA Today.

The renaming of the high school is the latest removal of Lee - who led Confederate forces during the American Civil War - from public space, including statues, memorials and portraits since the protests and riots that have followed the death of a Black man, George Floyd, in police custody in Minneapolis since Memorial Day. About 1,800 students attend the school, which is in the Franconia neighborhood.

Connect with Fort Hunt Herald on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn (Ad). At 23, Lewis was the youngest speaker at the 1963 March on Washington, where Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous "I Have a Dream" speech. Prior to that, Lewis was a civil rights activist who organized for voting rights for people of color. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was signed into law later that year and is considered one of the most far-reaching pieces of civil rights legislation in US history. Lewis passed away on July 17 at the age of 80. Congressman Lewis was the recipient of many awards throughout his lifetime, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011.



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