Robert E Lee Elementary School in Austin will get a new name Austin ISD

Robert E. Lee Elementary School in Austin will get a new name.

Changing of the guard: Austin (Texas) district will remove Robert E. Lee name from school

Elementary school becomes one of many in the South to rename facilities with names linked to the Confederacy

The Austin (Texas) school board has voted to rename a school named for Confederate General Robert E. Lee.

KVUE-TV reports that trustees voted 8 to 0 with one abstention to remove the general's name from Robert E. Lee Elementary School.

Proponents of the name change began advocating for action last year after an avowed racist carried out a deadly shooting at a historically black church in Charleston, S.C. Many schools throughout the South have been looking at whether having schools named for those with links to the Confederacy is racially insensitive.

Lee Elementary opened in 1939. The Austin district is asking the public to submit possible replacement names for the school.

The district's criteria for naming facilities say that a school may be named for an individual, a place such as a landmark or neighborhood, "or for any other reason determined by the board."

If a facility is named for an individual, that person "must be recognized by the general public and widely respected" and "must embody exemplary qualities that can serve as a model of excellence."

The board is scheduled to decide on a new name on May 23.

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