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Washington-Lee High School, Arlington, Va.

Students sue Arlington (Va.) school board over decision to rename high school

A new name has not been selected, but the students contend the board's plan to rename Washington-Lee High was approved without community input.

Three students are suing the Arlington (Va.) School Board over its decision to change the name of Washington-Lee High School.

WUSA-TV reports that the board decided last month that it would rename the school, but it has not chosen a new name.

The students contend that board members ignored their own rules when they decided  without public input that the name would be changed.

Washington-Lee High School was founded in 1925 and is named for George Washington, the nation's first president, and Robert E. Lee, Confederate general in the Civil War.

After last year's deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville over a statue of Robert E Lee, the Arlington School Board voted to begin the process of renaming the high school.

Some students are angry that the board's decision came without any student or community involvement.

"All we really want is for there to be a community voice," says Sydney Dodini, a rising senior at Washington-Lee.

She and Will Johnson, also a rising senior, are two of three students suing the school board.

The board first voted to change the school naming criteria, the Naming of Facilities policy.

That issue was on the agenda. But in that same meeting, the board voted to direct staff to begin the process to rename Washington-Lee High School.

"We weren't polled. We weren't questioned or interviewed or anything about the process," says Dodini.

 

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