Some Texas students are refusing to compete in sports unless their high school drops Robert E. Lee from its name.
Trude Lamb, a sophomore cross country runner from Tyler, wrote a letter to school board members asking to change the name honoring the Confederate general, as an online petition has reached nearly 10,000 signatures, reported KENS-TV.
"He owned slaves and didn’t believe people like me were 100% human let alone ever go to my very high school," Lamb wrote. "I don’t see a future of remembering a person who did nothing for our country and who didn’t care for me or my people. He continues to bring our city down."
Lamb emigrated to the U.S. from Ghana in 2014, and she has seen historic evidence of the slave trade.
“I have stood in the dungeons of the slave castle and see the three foot urine and feces stains on the walls," she wrote. "I have worked the very fields and fetched water for my family from the very places my people were kidnapped.”
She has been joined by other student athletes who say they won't compete under Lee's name, and they're asking the school board to remove his name and the name of John Tyler -- a slave owner who supported slavery's expansion as president -- from the district's two high schools.
"We as a board are well aware of the issues surrounding the names of both of our flagship high schools," said board president Wade Washmon. "We have heard from, and anticipate hearing more, from the community on the subject. This time in between school years will hopefully be used to discuss, and find both consensus and meaningful resolution in a unified manner."
Lamb has asked the board to rename the school for "someone who we can all be proud of.”