School districts wrestling with name changes to move away from Confederate figures have faced budget difficulties in an already contentious process — so they’ve been saving money by choosing someone to honor with a similar name.
About 100 public schools are named after Confederate figures, mostly in Southern states and most commonly honoring Robert E. Lee, but the Wall Street Journal reported that some districts are trying to find creative ways to cut costs on removing and replacing signs, turf fields and sports uniforms.
In the Houston Independent School District, for example, officials changed a school named for Confederate soldier Sidney Lanier to the late Bob Lanier, a former mayor, and Austin school district’s Robert E. Lee Elementary was renamed to honor Depression-era photographer Russell Lee.
Schools have been named for Confederate figures since the end of the Civil War, with a noticeable uptick during the Civil Rights era in the middle of the 20th Century, but dozens of school districts have dropped those names in recent years.
Social media users offered some ironic and hilarious suggestions for renaming schools to dishonor Confederate figures.
Sweet. Spike Lee Elementary!
— Brian Joseph (@Brianjosephj) June 24, 2019
If they really want to pick a name that’ll best replace Robert E Lee, they need to Do the Right Thing
— Jonathan Keller (@JKeller5) June 24, 2019
The “Bruce Lee Dragons” would be pretty kickass, and hard to beat.
— Jeff Prudhomme (@PrudhommeJeff) June 24, 2019
They should all be named Lee Majors
— Herk Driver, Trying to be The Shepherd (@G130J) June 24, 2019
Why don’t we have schools named after more of our war enemies? The Bin Laden Academy or The Hideki Tojo Institute of the Arts?
— Joe Newbie (@joenewbie) June 24, 2019
Downside: Lee Harvey Oswald Jr. High
Upside: Bruce Lee school for the performing arts, Lee Marvin HS.
— Chris Swartout (@chrisswartout) June 24, 2019
Bring on Geddy Lee Elementary School and Bass Emporium pic.twitter.com/7GGnJZhr4f
— Bryan Jones (@bpjauburn) June 24, 2019
Interesting that no one’s yet suggested Harper Lee.
— Sam Ro (@SamRo) June 24, 2019
the bravest man in the raid, leeroy jenkins pic.twitter.com/KwmOrPwbyM
— dirt russell (@trevordunne) June 24, 2019
Surely Lee Jean’s will jump in for a sponsorship! pic.twitter.com/snGypA6QF9
— Allison R (@Allymae11) June 24, 2019
Sara Lee. Yum. pic.twitter.com/1cccnIZytY
— Laura (@laurasuevt) June 24, 2019
The Nobody Doesn’t Like Sara Lee Fighting Bakers
— Gary Brienza (@BrienzaGary) June 24, 2019
Come on, Peggy Lee!
— InfiniteElaine (@LinerElaine) June 24, 2019
How cool would it be to go to Lee Hazelwood/ Nancy Sinatra HS?
— Richard U. (@sinistra00) June 24, 2019
— Melissa Jordan (@MelissaEJordan) June 24, 2019
Stan Lee Middle School
— MARTYN3024 (@MARTYN3024) June 24, 2019
— matt rice (@lsum82) June 24, 2019