ARLINGTON, Va. (CBS Local) — A high school in northern Virginia that’s removing Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee’s name could be renamed to honor the couple who challenged the state’s ban on interracial marriage.
A 21-member committee appointed by the Arlington County school board voted Thursday that Washington-Lee High School be renamed as “Washington-Loving,” according to School Board spokeswoman Linda Erdos.
She said the committee’s second choice was “Washington-Liberty,” Erdos said.
The proposed new name would honor Richard and Mildred Loving, a Virginia couple whose legal challenge led the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down all state laws banning interracial marriage.
“I just really enjoy how we can turn a name with so many negative connotations into something positive,” Chloe Slater, a junior at Washington-Lee who sat on the committee and is the child of an interracial couple herself, told ARLnow.
“I am also proud that we may be the first school in the United States to honor two individuals who looked past race and color and joined in a marriage based on their love and respect for each another,” Principal Gregg Robertson wrote.
The school board decided June 7 to remove Lee’s name from the building due to his legacy of fighting to preserve slavery.
The board will discuss the proposed new names at a meeting Dec. 20 and is tentatively planning to take a final vote on Jan. 10. It is hoping to have the new name in place in time for the 2019-2020 school year.