LONG BEACH (CBSLA.com) — The Confederate flag controversy raging around the southern states is now being visited in these parts.
An elementary school in Long Beach is named after Robert E. Lee, the general who led the Confederate forces to defeat in the Civil War.
CBS2’s Randy Paige reports that many parents at that school are wondering if it’s time for that school to undergo a name change.
“I really like the name, good school,” said one woman.
Others are not so sure.
“I think they should really consider taking off a slave leader’s name and initials off of an elementary school with minorities,” said another parent. “It’s like we’re glorifying someone who wanted to keep your grandparents in bondage.”
An article in the Long Beach Press-Telegram by columnist Tim Grobaty questions whether it is appropriate for the school to be named after the general.
The debate, of course, is being fueled by last week’s racially motivated attack that left nine people dead inside a South Carolina church.
Rallies around many southern states are demanding Confederate flags be removed from state capitals. Many retail giants, including Amazon, Sears and Walmart, said they would stop selling Confederate flags and merchandise.
A similar debate is being waged in San Diego, where another school was named for Lee.
An assemblymember is calling for the Long Beach school to get a new name.
Paige spoke to some parents who were also not bothered by the name of the school.
“I think the Civil War is actually a very important part of our history, and there’s always two sides to one story. I don’t have an issue with my son attending Lee Elementary,” said Toni Ricks.
A spokesperson for the district says the ultimate decision to change the name or not would be made by the Long Beach Unified School District board.
Paige reported the item is not on any board agenda.