In July 2020, the Fairfax County School Board approved the name change of Robert E. Lee High School after students advocated that the name of the school did not reflect its mission or the diversity of the school community.
In turn, the vote was approved to change it to John R. Lewis High School, after the longtime civil rights icon.
Students and members of the school community attended a rededication ceremony in late April, to officially rename Robert E. Lee High School to John R. Lewis High School.
Virginia Senator Tim Kaine and members of the Lewis family were in attendance for this historic event.
The state of Virginia has been moving in the direction of removing names of Confederate leaders from numerous high schools. This trend is expected to continue as the “Black Lives Matter” movement continues to take shape in wake of the death of George Floyd last May.
According to a statement by Fairfax County Public Schools, the move to change the name of the high school was, “To better reflect its diversity, students, alumni, parents, and community members who use their voices to advocate the change.”
Robert E. Lee High School first opened its doors in 1958, and according to FCPS, it now has students who represents 61 different countries and 25 different languages. The school’s student population is made up of 45.46% Hispanic or Latino, 23.94% Asian, 14.93% White and 12.97% Black.