Alumni Sue After Virginia School Drops Confederate General's Name

The former Washington-Lee High School was renamed last year to Washington-Liberty

Some alumni of a Northern Virginia high school are suing over the decision to remove Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee's name from the school's.

The Arlington County School Board unanimously agreed to rename the former Washington-Lee High School in January 2019. The school is now called Washington-Liberty High School.

But the Washington-Lee High School Alumni Association wants the courts to void the change permanently.

In court documents obtained by News4, the association claims that the board imposed their own political values on the community throughout the process, “without concern for the fact that the students and alumni would no longer have the prestige of the original name”.

The alumni association claims they suffered a loss of membership because of the name change.

The complainant goes on to say that the board falsely claimed there would be a lengthy period in which the public could weigh in on whether the school’s name should be changed.

A spokesperson for the school board said in an emailed statement that the decision regarding the name change was appropriate and the board is ready to vigorously defend against any legal claims challenging it.

“The Board went through a careful, and lengthy process before changing the name,” the statement read. The board says community members, including alumni, were consulted.

The association is seeking the name change be voided and a permanent injunction to prevent any future changes. They are also seeking compensation in an amount determined by the court and the cost of legal fees.

The school board said this week they hadn't yet been served the suit, but will file a formal response "if and when that happens."

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